Lunar: Eternal Blue, Lucia of the Blue Star - Vol. 2 - Summary
Recap: Hiro, Ruby, and Gwyn live together in the desert. One day, White Knight Leo of Althena's Guard comes, claiming that the Destroyer Lucia is coming to Lunar. Hiro and the others find Lucia; she claims she's come from the Blue Star to meet with the Goddess Althena, but to prevent Lunar's destruction, not to cause it. Lucia is cursed by Zophar, and they take her to former priest Ronfar in the village of Larpa to help. They're then captured by Leo, but thanks to Ronfar's help, they escape via the Destiny's magic arrow. They land near some ruins, where they encounter someone claiming to be the legendary Ghaleon, who helps them escape from Leo. From there, they end up at Taben's Peak, where they find a boy named Nall taking care of a group of orphans, after some of them have been kidnapped. With them is Jean, a woman who's come to save the kidnapped children, and find the Shadow Dragon Cult responsible for it, since she has a prior history with them; she also wants to seek Blue Master Lunn's help towards that end. They save the children, and in the process also meet a girl named Lemina at Ramus' Store in Meribia. Lemina and Ramus also help Lucia find some new clothes (her previous set was a crimson-red cloak and hat, and all-black clothing), so she doesn't stand out so much, since they're still on the run from Leo. After Meribia, Hiro, Ruby, Ronfar, and Jean go to the town of Azado to catch a ship from there. In Azado, they find that the town is living in constant fear of Althena's Guard. That evening, through the help of Ronfar's friend Balse, they board a ship--only to find that it's the Destiny. But then, the town comes under attack. Leo goes with Ronfar and Hiro to investigate, and finds that their claims of oppression by Althena's Guard are true. He agrees to take them to the holy city of Pentagulia to meet with the Goddess Althena directly, but he still has his doubts about Lucia...
Monologue: Mistress Lemina Ausa
"You've heard of the Magic Guild of Vane, right? What? You haven't? Oh pooh, this is all Borgan's fault. Well, how about I explain it to you, and then you'll know--hey, why are you running away!? You don't get the chance every day to be told about the Guild from the Guildmistress herself!"
Lemina Ausa, Leader of the Magic Guild of Vane addresses the reader. Long ago, Vane flew in the skies. But, everyone knows the legends of old Vane. Anyway, the Magic Guild has been around as long as Vane has been, and she's its current leader. Yes she's young--only 16 years old--but age doesn't determine magic ability; the Ausa family has always had strong magic. Anyway, when her grandmother passed away, the leadership was passed to her own mother, Miria. But then, since Lemina was handling most of the work, the title soon passed on to her.
What really gets Lemina upset is Borgan. Borgan once tried to join the Magic Guild while Lemina's mother Miria was Guildmistress, but his power was too poor to amount to anything, and it seemed like he was just infatuated with Miria, considering how nice a person she was. But now, Borgan has been luring people away from the Magic Guild of Vane with his own guild, through the power of money. Since the Magic Guild of Vane can't afford to pay its members the same way that Borgan can, this Magic Guild has been steadily losing members.
Person: I'm not unsatisfied with either Miria or you, Lemina. But I can't get by any longer with inadequate pay...
Lemina: But why? I know the pay isn't great, but we can give you a dorm to live in, and meals. You shouldn't have to worry about how to get by.
Person: Next month I'm geting married. And soon I'll have children. Would you be able to provide my family with housing and food as well?
Lemina I... I don't think we could...
Person: And clothes? And friends for my children to play with?
It's not that people want to leave... but that they simply can't stay in Vane. And now, Lemina is the only member of the Magic Guild of Vane. Everyone else has left.
It all comes down to the problem of money. She and her mother have just enough to eat. They use the same clothes that have been in the family for ages, and live in the Guild Mansion that's been in Vane for ages. Vane still has several dorm buildings and an immense library. But, Lemina's mother decided to open the library for use by anyone--for free--and she's given lodging to people coming from Azado, who have lost everything by fire--also for free. But through it all, Lemina is still determined to restore Vane and the Magic Guild to their former glory. And so, Lemina has decided to work with Ramus, the shopkeeper in Meribia, to earn some extra money.
It's still foolish. The main problem is that it costs money to run and operate the Magic Guild, yet magic itself is free. How is the Magic Guild supposed to be useful as an organization, if people can just ask a neighbor or someone who knows a little magic whenever they need help? But Lemina won't get discouraged. There's a history and reputation behind Vane, and she believes that they will be able to use that history and reputation to be a source for magic worldwide.
The other day, Lemina took a little bit of a break. She had a pretty good day at Ramus's Store, after helping a girl named Lucia find a new dress and receiving a commission for it. The commission wasn't much, and she wasn't going to spend it--only save it--but it was a good excuse to take a break and walk around Meribia. And, because Lucia left her old clothes behind--a distinctive crimson-red cloak and hat, and black clothes--Lemina was free to try them on for herself. So, she donned Lucia's old clothes and went around the marketplace in Meribia. But, she forgot one key detail: the reason that Lucia needed new clothes was because she was running away from someone, and needed not to stand out. And, on boards throughout Meribia was posted the message:
"The Destroyer Lucia, in the form of a beautiful young girl about 15 or 16 years old, and wearing black clothing with a crimson-red cloak and hat."
Lemina was 16 years old. She was wearing Lucia's crimson-red cloak. Underneath, she wore her black blouse. It didn't take long before passers-by began to notice her and her clothing, and she was quickly apprehended and taken on board the Dragonship Destiny.
Lemina didn't come back to Ramus's Store that evening, and it wasn't until much later that Ramus learned what had happened.
Chapter 14: Song Aboard the Ship
Hiro had a pretty normal life, until he met Lucia of the Blue Star. He promised to take her to meet the Goddess Althena. On the way, he met Ronfar from the village of Larpa. Just when Leo was trying to kill them, they escaped on a magic arrow and encountered Ghaleon, survived a blizzard, was rescued by Nall and Jean, saved some kidnapped children, were captured by Leo in Azado, and then fought alongside Leo against fire monsters in town. And now, Leo was taking them to Pentagulia on board the Dragonship Destiny, to meet with the Goddess Althena herself.
Hiro and Ruby had been trying to get used to the new atmosphere on the Destiny. While there, Ruby became good friends with one of Leo's soldiers, named Herring. Herring took a liking to Ruby for some reason--perhaps it was that he just liked cats--and so he had no problem talking at length to both Hiro and Ruby. He told them a lot about how he and the other soldiers saw Leo...
Herring: For us, Leo is a hero. He's relentless against evil, and kind to the weak. He always inclines towards justice.
Herring says that he and the other soldiers don't really see Lucia as the Destroyer, but they're not going to doubt Leo's judgment. Also, since Leo is a man of duty, he will not abandon his duty to carry out Althena's orders; but, considering recent events, he's willing at least to bring Lucia to Althena to hear the Goddess's orders directly.
Ruby can tell that Herring--and the other soldiers--really look up to Leo. But, there's one other thing... the rumors of divine punishment, of villages that have been burned to the ground because of their opposition to Althena's Guard. They saw what had happened in Azado for themselves; and rumors of Mauri's divine punishment have spread all the way to Leo himself. Although Leo has always been aware of such rumors, he's not the sort to believe things without proof. Since he now saw what happened in Azado for himself, he has a lot on his mind. But through it all, Herring and the other men would still follow Leo to the ends of the earth.
It just so happens that Leo was right behind Herring when he was explaining all this.
Herring: Please excuse me!
Leo and the guests on the Destiny gathered in the briefing room. Leo brought them there to discuss the city of Pentagulia and the structure of Althena's Guard.
Leo: Thus, myself, White Knight Leo, and Blue Master Lunn, Red Priest Mauri, and Black Wizard Borgan, control the power of the Four Dragons and, as the Four Heroes who protect the Goddess Althena, we are in service to her.
As for the guests, their objectives were clear.
Lucia was to meet directly with the Goddess Althena. Once she sees her, she will be able to save the world, so she claims. Hiro and Ruby would accompany her there.
Ronfar had his own personal business with Red Priest Mauri, the woman he once loved.
Jean sought the help of Blue Master Lunn. Since he traveled across the world, fighting monsters, she was sure that he would offer his assistance in her fight against the Shadow Dragon Cult. Leo's recommendation could go a long way towards encouraging him to help.
And there was one more... a loud-mouthed girl who ended up an unwilling guest on board the Destiny... Lemina. She had been picked up in Meribia, a case of mistaken identity when she was found wearing the same cloak and hat that Lucia left behind. Nevertheless, on account of her unexpected journey, she has plans to go ahead and see Black Wizard Borgan in Pentagulia. Since she is the Guildmistress of the Magic Guild of Vane, she intends on getting to the bottom of how Borgan--a man who she remembers has zero magic ability--is now able to lure people away from the Magic Guild of Vane to his own guild.
Leo confronts Lemina on her slight towards Borgan. Before an argument between the two of them breaks out, Ronfar interrupts, asking Leo to continue with his explanation of the Four Heroes of Althena's Guard.
Leo: Very well... The power of the Four Heroes is granted by Althena. It is the power of the White, Blue, Red, and Black Dragons. I was granted the White Dragon's power through the Dragonship Destiny. Lunn, meanwhile, has decided not to use the Blue Dragon's power for himself at all. Borgan has used the Black Dragon's power to construct Neo Vane, and using tht power directly through himself.
Lemina: Oh, so Borgan's power is entirely borrowed?
Leo: Borgan is the only one who can control the Black Dragon's power... Also, there is Mauri... Mauri's use of her power, you saw evidence of last night in Azado.
Lemina: I didn't see anything. Thanks to some mega-idiot, I was locked away below deck!
Leo: If you had just explained to us how and when you obtained that cloak and hat, then perhaps we could have avoided such trouble!
Lemina: What! You just treated me like a bad guy without even asking me a single question! And since Lucia was getting rid of these clothes anyway, why shouldn't I be able to use them, hm!? Right, Lucia?
Lucia: Oh? Well, when I changed, I did give those clothes over to Lemina. ...but, I assumed she would dispose of them, or burn them...
Lemina: What are you saying, Lucia! It's so wasteful just to throw them away! I can't do that!
-Ronfar signalled to Leo to continue his explanation, quickly.-
Leo: Also, above the Four Heroes stands Ghaleon, revived by the Goddess Althena herself. He was revived by the Goddess as the opposite of the person he was before--the Magic Emperor--and now bears the title of Dragonmaster.
So it would seem that the Ghaleon that Hiro and the others met in the ruins, after they escaped from the Destiny via the Magic Arrow, was the real Ghaleon of legend. But then, if he was on Leo's same side, why did he help Leo and attack the Destiny back then? In any case, Ruby suggests that if there is a Dragonmaster, then there must be Dragons--perhaps they can meet some of them in Pentagulia? But, Leo regrets to inform Ruby that the Dragons referred to by the Dragonmaster are really the powers that are controlled by the Four Heroes. The sort of Dragons which fly through the air, mentioned in legends, do not really exist. Hiro protests, having seen evidence of the Dragons in his archaeological finds, but something in Lucia's countenance distracts them...
Ruby: Lucia, what is it? Are you tired? Worried? Or maybe you're seasick?
Lucia: Oh? I'm fine, Ruby. Thank you for your concern... But I just needed a little air.
Lucia left the cabin. Jean yawned and said she was returning to her own quarters to rest. Hiro went out to follow after Lucia--Ruby digs her claws into Hiro, perhaps out of jealousy, perhaps out of frustration at what Leo said about the Dragons not being real. She gives up and Hiro leaves for top deck by himself.
Lucia was alone on the top deck of the Destiny, looking out across the sea, reflecting on her journey so far and what lay ahead in her mission. Because of Zophar, she'd been cursed and forced to live through her journey as an ordinary person. But despite that, she was now about to arrive at Pentagulia. She could meet with Althena, and, if necessary, use Althena's power to seal away Zophar. So, her mission would be over.
But, something wasn't right. If she did nothing, then Zophar's return would not be immediate, but it would not be very far away. Yet, something else occupied her thoughts: Lunar. This world that Althena created was much different than she imagined. There was order and disorder, hope and fear, peace and violence. This chaos wasn't due to Zophar's influence, was it? Long ago, the people of the Blue Star themselves summoned Zophar; that was the cause of its long sleep. The remaining survivors were brought to this world by Lunar. And, in the hope that the Blue Star would one day be revived, Althena entrusted the future of the Blue Star to Lucia.
Meanwhile, Lunar would continue to gather up power for the Blue Star's eventual revival. For that end, Althena had wished for this world, for Lunar, to be a land of peace, ruled by her as a Goddess. Yet, there was chaos--in nature, in life, in towns and villages, and in the people here. And, Zophar had even been able to seal away the power of the Dragons. It was all too much, and Lucia had trouble understanding it all. So, she began to sing...
Hiro: That's a beautiful song, Lucia.
Hiro was happy to hear Lucia sing. It seemed that her mission would soon be over, once they arrived at Pentagulia and saw the Goddess Althena. So, she had every reason to be happy. Yet...
Lucia: You don't understand a thing... Hiro, you don't have a clue!
Hiro: But, once you meet Althena, you'll be able to seal away Zophar, right? And then the world will be safe from destruction...
Yes, Hiro would think that... He doesn't understand what could, what would, really happen if she were to use Althena's power. Nor would he have any reason to know. Lucia realized this, and began to feel anger mixed with sadness. She felt the side of her face...
Hiro: Say, Lucia... I don't know what you're going through right now, but...
Lucia: No, Hiro, you don't know! You don't know anything! Just leave me alone!
Lucia couldn't take it any more. She left Hiro and ran back below deck.
Thereafter, Hiro didn't say anything more to Lucia nor Ruby. But, by the time the Destiny arrived at Pentagulia, Lucia was back to her usual self, and Ruby had forgiven Hiro. He still didn't quite understand why Lucia or Ruby was so upset, or why they seemed to forgive him once again...
Chapter 15: The Holy City
The Destiny neared the Holy City of Pentagulia. When they were within sight of it, Hiro saw what Ronfar meant when he described the city as having no gardens or fields around it. The city was sitting on top of the water; if it was on an island, then the entire island was occupied by its buildings and streets. The port itself occupied nearly half of Pentagulia.
Leo guided Hiro, Lucia, Ruby, Ronfar, and Jean off the Destiny to enter the city as his guests. Lemina threw a storm of a protest: she had come all this way because of Leo's misunderstanding, and now she has to sit on the ship while everyone else gets to go into the city? But then, a messenger from Borgan himself ran up to the ship:
"Mistress Lemina, from the original Magic Guild. Borgan has asked me to relay his apologies for any past errors. He welcomes Lemina to the city."
So, it's settled. Ronfar first leaves for Mauri's Red Tower. Before he goes, he asks Ruby not to come between Hiro and Lucia so much--Ruby counters with her continued insistence that she's Hiro's boyfriend. Jean leaves for Lunn's Blue Tower. Before she goes, she tells Hiro and the others that, after her fight with the Shadow Dragon Cult is finished, she'll return to the Caravan. If they ever should happen upon their Carnival, they should come by to see her. Lemina leaves for Borgan's Black Tower. Before she goes, Lucia apologizes for the misunderstanding related to her clothing; Lemina asks her not to worry--after all, it gave her cause to come to Pentagulia. Leo goes ahead to the main shrine in Pentagulia, to secure an audience for Lucia with the Goddess Althena.
After everyone leaves, Lucia realizes that it's unlikely she will see them again. Hiro tries to reassure her.
Hiro: We might run into each other again while we're all still in Pentagulia. And, we might even return together.
Hiro: Yeah. Ronfar has his house in Larpa, and Lemina is going back to Vane or Meribia, right? Jean will continue her journey to find the Shadow Dragon Cult, but they might still see her again. And Lucia, once you're business here is done, you could continue to travel with me. We could go back to Taben's Peak to see Nall and the other kids; I'd really like to look around that place some more. And then, we could even pay a visit to Lemina in Vane--it's close by Taben's Peak. Just like Lemina said, if the legends are true that Vane really floated in the skies, then there must be some ruins left from that period, and the library is still there. And maybe then we can see Ghaleon's ruins again, I wonder...
Lucia listened as Hiro went on. She understood what Hiro was thinking, that he felt his journey wasn't even halfway over. But, Lucia knew that once her power was restored fully, she would immediately return to the Blue Spire.
She begins to feel sad again. Ruby notices this.
Ruby: Lucia, you feel sad because everyone is leaving.
Lucia thought to herself... Ruby was right, she was sad. But why? She was always alone on the Blue Star, and was never sad then. So why, now, is she sad at the thought of being alone once more?
Hiro: Oh yeah, on the Blue Star, you're all alone, so you're probably sad at the thought of returning there. Um... then... maybe you could...
-Hiro fumbled his words for a moment.-
Hiro: Why don't you come and live with us? With Gwyn, Ruby, and me--
-Hiro was interrupted by Ruby burning his face.-
Ruby: ...I'll forgive you for that
Hiro: What, Ruby, did I say something wrong?
Ruby drops her jealousy for a moment and tells Lucia to take care of Hiro...
Meanwhile, Leo is waiting in the main hall of the shrine, thinking over what to say to Althena, how to justify his decision to take Lucia directly to her instead of killing Lucia per her orders. But when Althena herself finally addresses Leo...
Althena: We see that you have brought Lucia to us. If she wishes an audience, then we shall grant her the time and place for one. We shall make the necessary arrangements; bring her here.
[Translator's Note: Althena uses archaic pronouns and other old forms of speech. I'm trying to compensate for that, without sounding stilted, by using the royal 'we' and a few other overly-formal elements of speech.]
There was no need for Leo to justify anything. He nods to Althena. Ghaleon, the Dragonmaster and her protector, stood beside Althena, looking down at Leo. Leo never could bring himself to fully trust Ghaleon, and there had always been a slight discored between the two of them. In any case, he left the hall to retrieve Lucia.
When he returned to the Destiny, he saw Hiro's burnt face.
Leo: I leave you for just one minute...
Leo guided the three of them through Pentagulia and to the main shrine. On the way, Ruby asks Leo if there's any significance to Pentagulia's shape, and why there aren't any fish in the fountain at the center--less like a fountain, though, and more like an opening to the ocean below the city. The four towers and the shrine at the edges of the city formed a five-pointed star. Leo explained that the fountain wasn't meant for fish, and the large shrine, with the terrace overlooking the fountain opening, was where Althena made an apperance whenever she addressed the people. For the rest, Ruby really should ask Ronfar for details...
When they enter the main shrine, they see many soldiers standing guard, dressed similarly to Leo. Leo explains that they are there to protect Althena. If Lucia has any ill-intentions, then they would most certainly strike her down before she had the chance to do anything to harm Althena.
They entered the main hall. Lucia was in front, with Hiro directly behind her, and Leo behind the two of them. They stopped in front of a throne at the front of the room. Bells then sounded, and Leo instructed them to bow their heads. First, Ghaleon stepped out, looking down at Hiro and the others. Behind him was a beautiful woman, smiling, and with full black hair... It was Althena...
"Welcome, Lucia of the Blue Star."
Althena's direct and polite address to Lucia was a shock--to Leo more than anyone else. Suddenly, it was apparent that Althena saw Lucia not as a Destroyer, but as an acquaintance. She continued.
Althena: You have come a long way. Please accept our humblest apologies, for much of your hardship was caused by a misunderstanding by Leo. Please do forgive him. ... Lucia, there is no longer any need to be concerned. Zophar has been sealed by us within these very walls of Pentagulia.
Lucia: You are not Althena...
-Without a word, every guard in the hall lined up at attention, focused on Lucia.-
Lucia: You are an ordinary human. Why are you masquerading as Althena? Where is Althena? Show me where she is.
Lucia raises her hand, showing her palm to 'Althena'. A ball of light flies forth at Lucia--before Hiro or Leo could do anything to stop her. Ghaleon stepped in front, hand outstretched, and blocked Lucia's spell. Without a single word of an incantation, he sent a burst of energy towards Lucia and knocked her to the ground. Hiro draws his knife to attack.
Ruby: No Hiro! You can't fight him! Stop it!
Leo also knew this to be true, but he was powerless to stop it. Ghaleon was an even better swordsman than Leo, and a better magic-user than Borgan. Hiro attacked Ghaleon, both directly and with magic. Nothing made even a scratch.
Ghaleon: Is this all the power you have? You cannot protect that girl. Perhaps you should rest...
Ghaleon reaised his hand and, in one strike, struck down Hiro. The power he used against Hiro and Lucia was like that Leo used against them back in Larpa: restrained so as not to kill either of them, but only render them unconscious. Ruby was crying all the while.
Leo knew he was responsible for bringing Lucia there, and putting Althena in danger. He had no choice but to speak, and quickly.
Leo: Goddess Althena, I have one request... Hiro had nothing to do with this. Do what you will with Lucia, but please leave Hiro to me.
Althena: Leo, you have worked hard on our behalf. We shall grant your request. Please do as you wish.
Leo realized that this way, he averted the issue of Althena being real, or an imposter as Lucia implied. He also would be able to protect Hiro and Ruby, at the very least. Leo leaves the main hall, taking Hiro, and with Ruby following close behind.
Chapter 16: Enter the Masked White Knight!
When Hiro regained consciousness, he was in a dark cell with bars made of light and energy, like the brig on Leo's ship. Ruby was there. She explained that they were in a jail cell in the White Tower; she then gets upset at Hiro for trying to fight someone as strong as Ghaleon.
Hiro: ...I fought Ghaleon?
Ruby reminded him of how he fought Ghaleon after Lucia was hurt. He then remembered Ghaleon's words: "You cannot protect that girl", and it all came back to him. He then remembered about Lucia--Ruby says that Lucia was taken by Ghaleon and Althena, but she doesn't know where. And, it still leaves the question of if the Althena there is real or an imposter, like Lucia said... Ruby started crying, not knowing what to do.
When a voice called out in the darkness. A voice that sounded much like Leo.
"Forget about Lucia. Right now, you must escape from here!
Just then, the bars of light disappeared, and the form of Leo appeared there. The clothes were the same, but for some reason he had a strange mask covering half of his face. The mask really, really, really looked awful on him. But still, he did help them out.
Hiro: Thank you, Leo...
???: Iiiiiiiiiiiii...... I am not Leo!
-Said the man who looked exactly like Leo...-
???: Leo would never help with a jailbreak! I am... I am... Yes, I am Mystere, the Masked White Knight! Yes, you may call me Mystere! Hah hah!
Ruby: I get it, Leo. You're taking on another identity.
Mystere: I am not Leo!
Hiro: Ruby, that's enough. Mystere is taking a big risk here.
-Ruby looked back and forth between Hiro and L--Mystere--and smiled.-
Ruby: Why thank you, Mystere. By the way, would you tell us where Lucia is?
Mystere: I said to forget about Lucia! More importantly, we need to rescue your friends, and get back to the Destiny! Yes, the Destiny! We will stow away on the Destiny, and escape Pentagulia! We'll stow away! And that way, we can avoid Althena's Guard!
So it seemed like a plan. Mystere started to leave. But wait, what was that about rescuing his friends?
Hiro: Hold on, Leo.
Mystere: What is it?
-Ruby let out a sigh...-
Hiro: What do you mean by rescuing my friends?
Mystere explains that Ronfar, Jean, and Lemina were all also captured; they're being held in the different towers of the city. To get there, they can take the underground passages beneath Pentagulia. Those passages were build when this city was first constructed to seal in the Destroyer (Zophar, presumably?), and they connect to the entrances of each of the four towers.
The first stop was the Red Tower, where they freed Ronfar.
Ronfar: Hey, Leo, what's with the weird--
Mystere: I am not Leo!
Ronfar: Right right, Mystere the Masked White Knight, is that it?
Ronfar joked with L--Mystere. Whenever they were just kids and playing, Leo could only play the part of this 'defender of justice'. Familiar with this already, Ronfar just played along. He thanked Mystere for his help. Ruby then asked why Ronfar was being held in the Red Tower, so he explains...
After Ronfar showed Jean and Lemina the way to Lunn's Blue Tower and Borgan's Black Tower, he went to the Red Tower to see Mauri again. She greeted him with a smile, and fierce eyes... Ronfar quickly got to the point: she was no longer Mauri, or at least no longer like the Mauri that he once knew. Why had she changed? Was it because of the medicine?
Ronfar: Just when you were about to die, Althena gave you that medicine. Is it because of that? That medicine revived you from near-death. But tell me, the person who was revived then... was it really you?
Mauri: I see, so you hate me then, is that it?
Ronfar: That's not it at all!
Mauri: But Ronfar, you are Mauri's, until the day you die...
It was at that time that Ronfar started an incantation, to put Ronfar to sleep. Ronfar saw this and started a litany for protection. But, Ronfar was an ex-priest, and Mauri was the topmost priestess of Althena's Guard. Her power overwhelmed Ronfar. And, after she had unleashed her spell, while Ronfar was trying to stand against it, she whispered...
Mauri: Ronfar... help me... I am fading away...
Ronfar: Mauri... what can I do? How can I save you?
Mauri: It's... Zophar...
Ronfar took Mauri in his hands. The voice of Mauri--the real Mauri--ended at that point. That was the last thing he remembered before waking up in this cell. Le--Mystere--then asked for confirmation: did Mauri really say the name of Zophar? Ronfar nodded: she did, he's certain of it.
Next, they went to the Blue Tower to free Jean.
Jean: I never thought you would be the one to save us, Leo
Mystere: I am not Leo! I am Mystere, the Masked White Knight!
Ruby encouraged her to just play along. Anyway, that left the question of why Jean was captured, so she explains...
Once Jean arrived at the Blue Tower, she spoke with Lunn directly. She brought with her the mask that she took from the leader of the Shadow Dragon Cult, back in Meribia, and showed it to Lunn. After explaining to him what it was, Lunn's tone changed.
Lunn: Jean, ever since you were little, you always were an obedient chiled. You would absorb everything you were taught, and steadily grew stronger.
Jean: Why... Lunn, why would you know about my past?
Lunn: Don't you understand?
-Lunn took the mask from Jean, and placed it over his own face. It was a perfect fit.-
Lunn: Don't you understand? I am the Masked Man of the Shadow Dragon Cult!
Jean: No... It's a lie, that can't be!
Jean understood. She knew it was true in her heart, but she denied it with her words, in the vain hope that it was really a lie. Lunn then attacked; Jean tried to resist, but Lunn used Shadow Dragon Karate. It was simply too strong for her to resist, and she was thrown to the ground.
Lunn: Up until now, Shadow Dragon Karate has been a hidden art. But I no longer have need for this mask. Soon, at the tournament of Horam, I will show the entire world the supremacy of Shadow Dragon Karate, and it will spread across the world. ... Oh, I see you are still conscious, Jean. Then listen: it would be a shame for someone of your skill to be killed. I will let you collect your thoughts in a cell. Perhaps you will find use for Zophar's power in there, and will no longer find it so difficult to use your strength to kill...
That was the last that Jean remembered.
Ruby: Now it's time to save Lemina, right, Mystere?
Mystere: Well, Lemina was opposed to Borgan from the beginning. So it's probably right that she is imprisoned. My rescue mission is complete.
Ruby: W... wait a minute!
Mystere: I was only joking!
On the way to the Black Tower, to rescue Lemina, Ruby asked Ronfar what the deal was with Leo's mask. After all, it would be pretty obvious to anyone in Althena's Guard that Mystere and Leo were the same person, so he wasn't fooling anyone.
Ronfar: It's not really to hide his identity from others, but really to hide his identity from himself.
Ruby: What do you mean?
Ronfar: Leo has always been the kind of man who never turns away from injustice. He's also a man of duty. So, as White Knight Leo of Althena's Guard, he couldn't turn his back on the Guard. But at the same time, he couldn't stand by and let us get capture, since that would also be unjust. So, Leo wears the mask to hide part of himself from himself.
The group of them arrive at the Black Tower, and free Lemina. She plays along with Leo's disguise, and thanks Mystere, the Masked White Knight, for releasing her--and for free, too. She then explains what happened between her and Borgan that led up to this mess...
When Lemina met with Borgan, it was confrontational from the start. Borgan said Vane was old news, and the Magic Guild was antiquated. Everyone now is flocking to Neo Vane, and the new Magic Guild he has constructed there. Soon enough, everyone will forget about old Vane.
Lemina insists that people won't forget about Vane. She might be the only member right now, but she's gathering up new magic users right now. And what's more, when Borgan himself was in the Magic Guild, he had no magic power at all! And moreover, traditionally the Guildmistress of the Magic Guild has always been a woman of the Ausa family. But Borgan counters that he has no need for traditions and history; the new Magic Guild will overwrite all of that.
Borgan: I, Borgan, have created the New Magic Guild, and Lady Miria is supporting me.
Borgan: I, Borgan, have asked Miria to be my wife. It seems that soon you will have to call me 'daddy'. Geh heh heh.
Lemina's face turned white. The thought of Borgan being in any way connected to the Ausa family made her blood boil. This couldn't be true... this had to be a nightmare...
Lemina: NNnnnnooooooo!!!!!!! No, never! I will never let you do that!
Lemina launched a tirade. After it, Borgan calmly said that the decision had already been made, and Miria was happy with the idea. It seemed that Lemina would need a little 'cooling off' time, perhaps in a jail cell. He then raised his staff and started an incantation. Lemina started an incantation of her own. But, Borgan was too quick and powerful, and immediately slapped a mute spell on Lemina.
Borgan: I'll leave you in a cell until I've completed my preparations. Perhaps Zophar will be able to turn you into an obedient little daughter. Once that happens, I shall see you again.
Lemina: MMmmmmm! MMmm mmm mmmmmm, mmmm mmmmmmm mmmmm!
Lemina had meant to say: "You must be joking if you think I'll ever be your daughter!" But only "mmm!" came out. Borgan then teleported her directly to the cell she's standing in now.
Well, now that everyone has been freed, Mystere says that it's time for him to go. Leo may be there shortly to help them out. Before any other protests, he thanks the group, asks them to keep their inclination towards justice, and departs. Afterwards, another voice calls out...
Leo: I heard!
Leo: It's me, White Knight Leo. I just happened to be close by, and I overheard everything you just said.
In any case, Leo says that he's discovered that Lucia is being heald in a special chamber, but he needs their help to find her. There's no time to waste, and they must continue onwards!
Lemina: Hold on. We're not your soldiers, Mystere.
Leo: Iiiiiiiiiiiii...... I am not the mysterious figure known as Mystere, the Masked White Knight! Is... is... is he really around here? I didn't... didn't notice that at all. Hah hah!
Chapter 17: False Althena
Lucia was bound, standing in front of Althena and Ghaleon. She demanded to see the 'real' Althena at once. The woman in front of her scoffed at the notion. She then turned her attention to the fact that her friends weren't coming to save Lucia--they had already been captured, and Lucia was on her own.
'Althena' pointed her staff at Lucia and sent a rush of power at her. Lucia held her resolve and withstood the pain, saying nothing, only glaring back at the woman claiming to be Althena.
Althena: ...Do you not feel pain?
Lucia: You are nothing more than a puppet of Zophar. I pity you.
Althena: Fool! You shall feel pain!
Before she could unleash another attack, Ghaleon grabbed the end of her staff. In anger, Althena protested at Ghaleon's interference; Ghaleon calmly reminded her that her behavior was unbecoming of a goddess. Althena collected herself, and returned her attention to Lucia: rather than kill her directly, she would instead be drained of her power and life to grant Althena eternal beauty. Althena, with Ghaleon, then left the chamber.
After they had left, Lucia took notice of her condition. She was wounded, but every time she tried to heal her wounds, her bindings would only absorb her power, preventing her from using her magic. But it wasn't the pain so much that worried her--it was that, finally, she felt the presence of Althena. The real Althena, somewhere in this city, calling out for her. Even if she is on her own, if Hiro and the others cannot help her, she must press on to find Althena, and prevent Zophar's full return.
A door opened, and she heard a sound. Hiro, smiling yet silent, stepped into the room, followed by Ruby, Ronfar, Jean, and Lemina. Lucia was shocked, but relieved.
Lucia: You weren't... captured?
Hiro: It's hard to believe, but Leo is the one who saved us. He came with us up to here, but he overheard the False Althena talking about Zophar, and quickly left.
Ronfar: Leo is still in shock, I think. Everything that he's believed in up until now is falling apart... In any case, we need to leave. Let's hurry up and free you, and get back to the Destiny.
Lucia declined. She said she finally felt the presence of the real Althena here, and she couldn't leave before finding her. Once she was freed, she immediately rushed out of the chamber, and towards the terrace of the main shrine, the same terrace where Althena would occasionally make an audience before the people. The terrace overlooked an opening into the ocean, like a fountain in the center of the city.
She couldn't be running for the edge of the terrace, could she? But right before his eyes, Hiro saw Lucia fly off the edge of the railings, falling down below. Yet, there was no splash, no sound of water... The party rushed out onto the terrace, and after bracing themselves--Lemina in particular--they all followed suit.
They found themselves in a "hole" in the middle of Pentagulia. When they looked up, they could see the tops of the four towers of the holy city. But right in the center of where they stood, was another, large tower, much like the Blue Spire.
Lucia: This is the Goddess Tower. This is where I sense the presence of Althena and her power.
Ruby: But, this wasn't here before...
Lucia: I'm afraid that False Althena... no, either Zophar or Ghaleon, used an illusion to mask the presence of this tower. The False Althena doesn't have this much magic power.
Ruby: So that's why there aren't any fish in this fountain!
It looked like now their goal would be to enter the tower, and find the real Althena herself. At this point, even Lemina pledged her support. After all, as the Leader of the Magic Guild of Vane, she couldn't turn away when Lunar and Althena needed her--not to mention that it would be worth a million silver in reputation and advertisements for the Magic Guild itself.
And so, with Lucia at the front, everyone entered the Goddess Tower. Or, rather, they tried to enter. Before they could, a magic attack struck the ground before them, stopping them in their tracks. Standing before them was none other than the False Althena. Coming up on the other three sides of the group were Red Priest Mauri, Blue Master Lunn, and Black Wizard Borgan, surrounding Lucia and the rest. There was no escaping now.
Lucia: I will find Althena.
False Althena: That sealed-away Goddess, who is unable to do anything? Ho ho ho...
Ronfar then noticed that only three of the Four Heroes were present.
Ronfar: Say, isn't Leo coming?
False Althena: We have not shown him this place. It is truly a shame.
Ronfar: A shame?
False Althena: Yes. Until now, we have allowed him to do as he pleases, as the warrior of justice on behalf of Althena's Guard. But at times like this, he is not useful. ... But soon, Ghaleon shall bring Leo here. And then, he shall be anointed... and will pledge his life and soul to Zophar.
Mauri requested that she be allowed control over Ronfar, to keep him as her right-hand man. Lunn requested that he be given Jean, to keep as his strongest disciple in spreading Shadow Dragon Karate. Borgan wanted Lemina; her support of his new Guild would allow him to spread his influence more widely. The False Althena agreed to those requests; her only goal was Lucia.
The three heroes of Althena's Guard closed in on Lucia, Hiro, and the others, like a group of cats closing in on a single mouse. Hiro realized that there was no option left but to fight... Ronfar agreed, and Jean asked to leave Lunn to her. Then, Lemina prepared a magic spell of ice, to attack Mauri. Ronfar protested, but there was little point--Mauri easily broke through the spell and shattered the columns of ice into dust. Before the others had a chance to attack, Lucia threw up a defensive barrier to shield them.
However, the barrier only bought them some time. They could not attack while it was up. The False Althena patiently waited for Lucia's power to wane. Ronfar, Lemina, and Jean began to realize just how one-sided this battle would be, as the shield slowly started to fade away. And when it finally did, Mauri unleashed another spell of flame--even stronger than the one she used in Azado--upon the party. When it struck, and the dust settled, the party was gone.
False Althena: What happened? Were they destroyed in the fire?
Mauri: They disappeared
False Althena: What?
Mauri: As soon as the barrier lifted, they disappeared.
False Althena: You worthless little tramp!
The False Althena began to act very much unlike her age, stature, and position. She cried out for Ghaleon.
False Althena: Ghaleon! Ghaleon, where are you!? Come here right this instant!
-Ghaleon teleported in behind her.-
False Althena: Why have you come so late!? If you had been here sooner, Lucia might not have escaped!
Ghaleon: You mean to tell me that you couldn't capture Lucia, alone, without help?
False Althena: How dare you speak to me that way!? And what about Leo!?
Ghaleon: You said to come here 'right this instant', and so I left him behind.
False Althena: What was that!?
-The False Althena struck Ghaleon with her staff. But, the staff only bounced harmlessly off his armor.-
Ghaleon: Stop that. You'll only hurt your hands.
Before the False Althena could get any more irate, the air became thick and heavy. Zophar had arrived... or rather, his presence was suddenly in the area. He spoke in a deep, husky voice.
Zophar: Lucia will most certainly return. As long as Althena is sealed within here, she will return to see her. You shall wait for that moment to come.
False Althena: Please forgive me, Master Zophar!
Zophar: As long as the barrier of the Dragons is around the Goddess Tower, then Lucia will not be allowed to enter to see Althena. Therefore, Lucia will first try to undo the seal on the Four Dragons. Prepare for that.
With those orders, Mauri, Borgan, and Lunn answered in the affirmative, and left. The False Althena, still on ground and in tears, then departed, leaving only Ghaleon.
Chapter 18: Return to Taben's Peak
Hiro and the rest of the group braced themselves for the onslaught of Mauri's fire. But... nothing. When they opened their eyes, they saw they were safe, and no longer in Pentagulia. Although, Lucia was unconscious and on the ground--still alive, only asleep.
Hiro: Ruby... where are we?
Ruby: Taben's Peak. Nall is right behind you.
-Nall raised up a hand and smiled, as if to say 'yo!'-
Hiro: You helped us?
Nall: The White Dragon Wings helped out, didn't they? Good thing I gave them to you.
Hiro: How did you...
Nall: Just give me a minute... I'm tired. I need to rest...
With that, Nall left for the adjacent room, with the statue of Althena. When the rest of them tried to follow, some of the kids approached them.
Kids: Hey it's Ruby! Say, Jean, is that other girl there in your Caravan?
Jean: Ah, yes... I did promise that I'd bring the Caravan here some time. But not yet... This girl here is actually the Magic Guild's...
-She searched for a way to put "Guildmistress" or "Premier" so that they could understand.-
Jean: greatest teacher.
Kids: Cool! Hey, teacher, can you teach us some magic? Show us some magic!
-The kids surrounded Lemina. She thought for a moment, and then...-
Lemina: Rouge, Blue
-Small points of red and blue light appeared at Lemina's fingertips, and circled about her.-
Lemina: Try to imagine these bits of light on your fingers--white light, red light, soft light, strong light, anything. The most important thing is that you believe you can do it...
This was the simplest of spells. It required no magic power, and only a short incantation. In fact, it was the first spell that Lemina's own mother taught her. Pretty soon, some of the kids there were even able to cast the same spell. Some of their lights were strong, some weak, and most only lasted a few seconds at most. But they were all happy at being able to do something new.
Nall was also impressed. He'd only known Lemina as the clerk at Ramus's Store, not as a magic teacher.
Lemina realized that some of the children here caught on really quickly, and had a natural affinity for magic. Perhaps in a few years, she could even recruit them into the Magic Guild! But then, that still left the problem of finances... In any case, Lemina decided to take it up one more step. She cast a similar spell, but instead of a point of light, she made one of the kids' clothes glow. The kids all then became excited.
Kid 1: Me too!
Kid 2: Me next, me next!
Kid 3: Now do Ruby!
Ruby: Hey! Hold o--
-Pop pop pop-
During all this, Lemina continued to think to herself... Even if a lot of the kids here with natural magic talent joined the Guild, and if she had great people like Lucia and Nall as members, she'd still have the problem of money...
Hiro, Jean, and Ronfar, with Nall, took Lucia to a separate room to lie down. They left Lemina and Ruby to look after the children. Ronfar pointed out that it's just like before: Lucia used up all her magic power to save them, before they were rescued and taken to Taben's Peak. Once she was here, she had to sleep. The same way, Nall used his power to transport them all the way from Pentagulia, and now he had to rest. Lucia they already knew was no ordinary woman--and Nall, it seems, is no ordinary man. Both of them have a great amount of magic power.
Anyway, the rest of them returned to look after the children, until Nall and Lucia regained their strength.
Much later, they found themselves in the main room of Taben's Peak. Lucia had woken up, and gathered everyone there. She had a request for Nall.
Lucia: Nall, as the White Dragon, you have an obligation to assist me. Do you understand?
Nall: Yeah, I understand. But my power was stolen. You should know that.
The room got quiet as the rest of them heard this exchange.
Ruby: What! Nall is the White Dragon! No way! I don't believe it! But he looks human! But then, Nall was the same name that Dragonmaster Alex's friend had, the cat-looking, fish-loving, flying creature that's in all the old legends, right? So what about me? Does that mean that I'm a Dragon?
Lucia: Ruby, of course you are the Red Dragon. You also have an obligation. Are you willing to help me?
Ruby: ...I'm really the Red Dragon? I'm not just a weird cat?
Nall: Isn't that what me and Lucia have been telling you!?
After Ruby's frantic and confused rant, she started crying... She wasn't sure why--perhaps she was happy, or confused. But more likely, it was that for the first time in her life, she really, truly, knew exactly who she was.
Hiro gently took Ruby into his arms to comfort her.
After Ruby calmed down, Nall continued his explanation.
Nall: Up until all four of the Dragons' powers were sealed, none of us even noticed Zophar's gradual revival. That was some decades ago.
Lucia: How is it that neither Althena, nor the Four Dragons, could notice Zophar's revival?
Nall: Zophar returns through the darkness in human's hearts. That darkness is always there, and so we simply did not notice it growing bigger. But, Zophar enlisted the aid of an ally to seal the Four Dragons' powers. That man's name... is Ghaleon. He is the same Ghaleon who was the legendary Magic Emperor, who tried to use the Dragons' power against the Goddess Althena.
Ruby: Does that mean... I was sealed?
Nall: Yeah, you were sealed. The Dragons span across generations, old and new... and you're on the younger end.
Ruby: So the old Red Dragons... is that my mother and father?
Nall: ...Dragons don't have parents. We're reborn, like Althena. The only difference is that, unlike Althena, a new Dragon can be reborn before the old one disappears...
The lack of parents then prompted Ruby to ask if Dragons could get married. Nall responded that, if they couldn't get married, it wouldn't make much sense for there to be male and female Dragons. Though, while implying that Dragons could get married, Nall blushed the whole while...
And Ruby quickly dismissed this, insisting that she was only asking since she was "Hiro's girlfriend" and all. In the middle of her long tirade on how she could never be interested in a childish guy like Nall, and Nall's argument that it was Ruby who was childish, Ronfar interjected...
Ronfar: Is all this really necessary?
Back on topic... Nall continued.
Nall: Anyway, Ruby, your power was sealed before you inherited the knowledge of being a Dragon.
That would explain why Ruby still acted like a kid, and was still small. At least, it partially explained that; her attitude explained the rest--so claimed Nall. Before another argument ensued, Nall continued...
Nall: This way, Zophar used the power of the Four Dragons to seal away Althena. And Althena, she spread her own power out to all humanity, some hundreds of years ago. If Zophar wants to return, then he would have to conquer the heart of each and every individual.
Lucia: That must be why I feel Althena's presence across all of Lunar. I think that this way, Althena's power could be dispersed to protect it.
Nall: That wasn't her intention. Althena believed in humanity; that is why she released her power.
Lucia: That couldn't be...
Nall: That is what Althena believed in. But still, Zophar could not fully revive. And so Zophar used the False Althena and created Althena's Guard. Through Althena's Guard, he is trying to reclaim the real Althena's power, the power that lies in each person... So, Lucia...
Nall: What do you intend to do?
Lucia: My goal has not changed. I will see Althena, and seal Zophar. For that, I need the cooperation of the Four Dragons.
Nall: Then first, you will need to confront the Four Heroes of Althena's Guard. Each of them has the power of one of the Dragons, and controls the seal on that Dragon's power. My own power is held by Leo.
Ruby: That's great! Leo's our friend; he'll definitely return it!
Nall said that they should prepare now: the Destiny was coming this way. He saw it approach before they arrived. He thought to evacuate Taben's Peak; but once he found out that Leo was their ally, he figured they would be safe. He asked Hiro and the others to go to Leo, and retrieve the White Dragon Power; meanwhile, he would have to stay here and look after the children. Yes, it is his power, but he still can't abdicate his responsibility, his promise, to look after the kids of Taben's Peak as if they were his own.
Ruby: So, the White Dragon Power controls coldness, right?
Nall: You don't get it. My power has nothing to do with the cold. My power is what fuels the Destiny, and lets it move. The Destiny is just like Taben's Peak was long ago--it runs on Dragon Power... although it doesn't work anymore.
Hiro: Wait, you mean that Taben's Peak is the Grindery! The same one in the legends! The one that shot down Vane!
There really wasn't time to indulge Hiro's interest in legends and history right now, as Jean and Ruby reminded him. Yes, Taben's Peak is the same building as the legendary Grindery, and perhaps later they could explore. But for now, they had to go see Leo, retrieve the White Dragon Power, and then save the world.
Ruby: So, Nall, we'll go and see Leo. YOu stay here and take care of the children.
Ruby's demeanor towards Nall was different than before... For once, she talked with him politely, almost affectionately. Or perhaps it was just a slip of the tongue.
[Translator's Note: The actual distinction was between the word 'anta', a more crude way to say 'you', and the word 'anata', a more polite and sometimes affectionate way to say 'you'.]
Chapter 19: The Fight with Leo
Hiro and the others boarded the Destiny. On board was Leo, alone. When asked about it, he responded that he left all his men at Azado, and came here alone. He's left Althena's Guard. But, it isn't that simple...
Leo: I have sworn eternal loyalty to the goddess, the goddess who saved Mauri's life! For the honor to call myself the White Knight! And everything I believe in, my sense of justice, it has all been a lie! Every time I brought down monsters and evil that caused pain for others, they expressed their gratitude by giving to Althena's Guard. And, now to find out that false goddess is controlling everything!
Leo was torn: his sense of justice was strong, and so was his sense of loyalty. But now, the two conflicted. He saw only one way out of it... and it wasn't by simply handing over the White Dragon's power.
Leo: I cannot join you in your fight. But, I cannot simply give you the White Dragon's power. You must first prove yourself to me with your sword!
Leo was serious. He truly intended on fighting Hiro. Now, Hiro had received a sword from Le--Mystere--back when he was rescued from Pentagulia. But, all his fighting until then was against monsters and ghosts in the ruins he explored. In fact, the first time he ever fought another person was when faced Ghaleon in Pentagulia. Ghaleon was much stronger than Leo, but this was still a difficult fight, and by a long shot.
The first fight, Hiro attacked and was easily defeated. He got up from the ground and tried again. The second fight ended more quickly than the first, in defeat for Hiro yet again. The third fight, Hiro waited for Leo to move first before counterattacking--and he still lost. The fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh fights, all ended the same way, in Hiro's defeat. Each time he tried something new, and each time he was summarily defeated. Ronfar would heal them both, and they would resume the next battle.
But the whole while, Hiro never gave up. He always put forth the entirety of his effort, and fought with all his resolve. Leo, meanwhile, was smiling--for the first time in ages. All the turmoil of what he'd found out about the false goddess, what happened to Mauri, knowing the truth about Althena's guard, it was all pushed to the back while he concentrated on the fight.
That evening, they returned to Taben's Peak.
Nall: Where's my power?
The group tried to explain what had happened with Leo. After the fights of the day, he asked Hiro to come again tomorrow, and they would resume. For now, Hiro was too tired to explain any further, and just wanted to rest at the Statue of Althena.
After three days of the same thing, Jean and Lemina said that they were going to Horam. Lucia was uncertain.
Lucia: Why can we not wait until Hiro wins? ...Of course I want to hurry. But, every time we hurry, conditions worsen. Would it not be better to combine our strenghts, rather than separate?
Jean: Yes but... if we don't leave now, then we may not make it in time for the Tournament at Horam.
Jean explained the importance of the Tournament. If she didn't stop Lunn there, then he would be able to spread Shadow Dragon Karate across the world. And his view that people must be ruled by force, and the strong deserve to rule over the weak, might not be stopped. Certainly, she would need to be much stronger than she is now, but she couldn't afford to wait.
Lucia gradually began to understand Jean's position... She asked Jean not to give up, and not to forget what it is she's fighting for. She would stop Lunn, save the children he's captured, and... then save the world. Lucia smiled, and Jean returned the smile.
Lemina: Hey, don't forget about me!
Lucia: Lemina, why do you want to go with Jean? What reason to you have to hurry?
Lemina: It's like you said, Lucia. It's better to combine our strength than split up. So, if you're going to travel, then two people are better than one. And also, Borgan is nearby, and I'd like to show him a thing or two about real magic... and get the power of the Black Dragon from him while I'm at it!
So it was settled. Jean and Lemina would go to Horam. And, Lucia said she would join them.
It made perfect sense to split up. Jean, Lemina, and Lucia could go after Lunn and Borgan, and retrieve the stolen power of the Blue and Black Dragons. With Lucia's help, they could revive the dragons themselves. Meanwhile, Hiro would continue his fight against Leo. Once he obtained the White Dragon's power, Nall was right there at Taben's Peak. And, if they then went with Ronfar and Ruby to see Mauri, they could retrieve the Red Dragon's power. Since Ruby herself was the Red Dragon, she could claim it right then and there.
The next day, Lucia and the girls told Hiro about their plans. He was surprised tha they wanted to leave already--but Jean explained the situation with the Tournament. Hiro asked them to stay just one more day; Hiro was sure to win soon. But Jean said they couldn't afford to wait day after day.
Hiro then offered to leave this fight and join them. Lucia, however, expressed her concern... Ghaleon was much stronger than Leo. And, if they expected to be able to continue their quest to free the Dragons and re-enter Pentagulia, and Hiro couldn't even defeat Leo, then he wouldn't have a chance at succeeding.
Jean knew it was hard for Lucia to leave Hiro behind (Lucia and Hiro both blushed at this), but splitting up was the most sensible thing at this point. So, the group split in two: Hiro, Ronfar, and Ruby stayed there, while Jean, Lemina, and Lucia left.
The next day, someone else came on board the Destiny. It was one of Leo's soldiers.
Leo: I told you that I have nothing to do with the Guard any longer! I am no longer your leader!
Soldier: No, Master Leo! If Leo has left the Guard, then I will leave the Guard! I want to serve under you, not under the Guard! Please, Leo, let me work for you!
After that day was over, Hiro still hadn't won. But, while Leo and Ronfar were having a drink together (well, only Ronfar, Leo didn't drink), Ronfar asked him if Hiro's skill was improving at all. Leo admitted that he might have a little ways to go, but he had been getting markedly better since they began. In fact, he expected to soon see the day that Hiro would win against him in battle.
Even Ronfar was surprised to hear that.
That evening, Leo paid a visit to Nall. He didn't expect to see a boy that looked as young as Hiro. But, once he realized who it was, Leo immediately spoke to Nall with the utmost respect--which really irritated Nall. After telling Leo that he preferred to be spoken to like any normal person, attention shifted to Nall's sword. Leo wasn't sure what it was, but he knew it was no ordinary weapon...
Nall: I'll only give this sword over to a Dragonmaster. Until that day arrives, I won't draw it. So, if you expect me to hand it over without earning the title of Dragonmaster, then you'll have to fight me for it.
Leo insisted that wasn't his intention.
In any case, the next day, the fight between Leo and Hiro continued, and Hiro continued to lose. And lose. And lose again. With each fight, he leaned better how to move, and how to anticipate his opponent's move. He learned what Leo was doing right, and what he was doing wrong, and changed his strategy to match. Until one fight... Leo and Hiro were both worn out. Hiro managed to catch Leo in his blind spot, struck, and landed a clear hit.
Leo agreed to keep his end of the bargain. He would give them the White Dragon's power.
But the next morning, Leo wasn't there; in his place was the soldier they had befriended back on their first journey to Pentagulia, Herring. He had come here to find Leo himself, but only saw him on the way out. Leo gave him one last mission, to meet Hiro here, and hand him a letter.
"Hiro, as I promised, I shall give you the White Dragon's power, which means that the Dragonship Destiny is also yours. The White Dragon's power is beneath the magic transporter on the deck of the ship. Please give it to White Dragon Nall for me. ..."
Ronfar: We might not see Leo again for a while. But I wonder if Mystere the Masked White Knight will make another appearance.
Sadly, Mystere the Masked White Knight of Justice would not make another appearance. But, fans of Mystere might be satisfied by playing the actual game for Lunar 2... perhaps...
Chapter 20: Vane
It was a long journey from Taben's Peak all the way to Horam. Long, and dangerous. On Lunar, three women generally wouldn't travel by themselves like this. It would be twenty days, more or less, to get to Horam. About half the time they could stay at inns in villages and towns. The other half, they would have to set up camp outdoors.
After the first day, they could reach Vane. So, they planned to head there first, and stay at the Magic Guild Hall, where Lemina lived. Besides, since Lemina's mother didn't know what happened to her since she left Meribia, it would be good to stop in and check on her before going to Horam, so she wouldn't worry.
Anyway, once they arrived at Vane, they ascended a long staircase to the entrance of the town, where they were stopped by two men. The men were dressed in all-black wizard robes, with their faces concealed--obviously cronies of Borgan.
Lemina: What do you think you're doing!? Let me in! I'm coming back home!
Man 1: Hm hm hm... the Leader of the forgotten Magic Guild...
Man 2: Say, did you know that the Leader of the forgotten Magic Guild would do anything for even a single silver coin?
Man 1: Anything, hm?
At that, the first man took out a single silver coin, and hurled it into the forest opposite Vane. He told Lemina that it was in exchange for her staying away from the city. Lemina was furious.
Lemina: Lucia! Jean! Let's go! We don't have time to deal with these losers!
She led them away, in the same direction as the forest where the coin was thrown. As they left, Lucia was confused as to why Lemina was upset... As she saw it, Lemina was getting money in exchange for others' happiness--Jean did the same thing when she danced at a carnival. So, Lemina tried to explain the basics of commerce to her... and the fact that Jean's dancing made both her happy and the people who gave her money happy; that little stunt that Borgan's crony pulled made him happy, but at Lemina's expense. People like him enjoy seeing the misery and suffering of others, and Lemina won't deal with that.
Lucia: Misery and suffering... those are things that Zophar feeds off of. I see, Lemina. You're trying to turn away from Zophar's influence. I suppose there's no need for this coin, then.
Lucia produced the same coin in the palm of her hand.
Jean: Lucia, when did you...
Lucia: This is bad money, right? So, I should throw it awa--
Lemina: Lucia! Don't waste money like that! There's nothing good or bad about money. The important thing is how you use it!
There was also the fact that they weren't prepared to take on two wizards just to get into Vane. And, now that the conversation had switched from talking about money, Lemina could get back to that issue. She didn't run away, she just led them all to the back entrance. Her staff glowed, and the shape of a magic transporter appeared in the clearing in the forest before them.
Lemina: Long ago, when Vane used to float in the skies, the only way to get to Vane from the surface was through these magic transporters.
Jean: So, why don't people still use them? I mean, it would be a lot easier than climbing up that long staircase.
Lemina: About that... If you don't have magic and try to use it, then the exit isn't in Vane, but instead in a labyrinth full of monsters underneath Vane.
Lucia: So then, does that mean we can't go through it?
Lemina: We'll be all right! I mean, the monsters in it are just to keep out thieves. It won't be a problem. It used to be a trial for people trying to enter Vane; now we just use it as a storeroom. Anyway, we'd better hurry.
Lemina activated the transporter, and the three of them teleported straight into Vane. Vane was a small town, and pretty much everyone treated one another like neighbors. So, as soon as they appeared, a woman ran up to see Lemina, frantic.
Lemina: What happened to Vane?
Woman: Borgan came in with a bunch of his men. He sealed off the town and entered your house! Everyone is worried about Miria, and Borgan isn't letting anyone inside!
Lemina: Leave this to us!
Lemina explained that she brought a few friends with her that she met in Meribia--Jean and Lucia--and together they'd take care of Borgan. So, they continued on to the Guild Hall.
Once they arrived, they tried to formulate a plan. They could sneak in through one of the back doors of the Guild Hall--Lemina knew all the ins and outs, after all. Then, if they were lucky, they could even surprise Borgan and take back the Black Dragon's power while they were at it. Then, half their journey would be over right there.
Before they went in, the same woman from before approached them--well, approached Lucia and Jean, anyway.
Woman: Say, are you friends of Lemina's? You're not just working for her, right?
Jean: Yes, that's right...?
Woman: Oh, that's good...
Woman: Oh no, it's just that Lemina... you've seen how she is, yes? There aren't any other kids in Vane her age, and there's nothing for her to do here, so she has to go to another city for everything. And, she has no friends there. I mean, yes, she is very concerned about money, but she hasn't always been that way. She really is a good girl, and she bears such a burden with managing the Magic Guild. I'm just so happy to see that she really does have friends she can be with.
Jean was moved. As she heard this woman speak about Lemina as if she were her own daughter, Jean was reminded of the leader of the Caravan that took her in, that saved her from the Shadow Dragon Cult, and brought her up as one of his own children. She smiled, and nodded deeply towards the woman.
Jean, Lemina, and Lucia entered the Magic Guild through one of the upper-floor windows--near the big hole in the roof. They entered into a small side-room. Lucia said she could feel the presence of the Black Dragon's power close by. They planned what their next move would be... First, Lucia confirmed what Lemina had said: Borgan had no magic power of his own, but the power of the Black Dragon made him dangerous--it is much more power than a human was ever meant to have. Since Jean did not rely on magic power, then if they were facing a fight, Jean would have to strike fast before anyone had a chance to say an incantation. Meanwhile, Lemina and Lucia would prepare their magic attacks.
So, it was time. They burst out of the room and into the main hall.
Lemina: Borgan! You have no right to sent foot in the real Magic Guild! Get out of here!
Miria: Oh my, Lemina. You've finally come home, and didn't even say hello?
Lemina: This isn't time for that! I've come to save you from Borgan.
Miria: Lemina, you've come such a long way, I know, but you're being rude.
Lemina: But mother! Borgan has sealed off the entrance and exit for Vane, and won't let anyone leave. Did you know that!?
Miria: Oh, is that so?
Borgan: Well, I was merely concerned about the safety of Vane's residents. There has been an increase in monster attacks, you see.
Miria: You see, Lemina?
Lemina: His lackeys didn't even let me in the city!
Miria: But Lemina, you're still here... Oh, does this mean that you've learned how to use teleportation magic? That's great, Lemina.
It was clear that Lemina wasn't getting anywhere with her own mother. So she focused her attention, and glare, on Borgan.
Lemina: Borgan! I said you're not to set foot here anymore. The real Magic Guild isn't for people who steal their power like you! Take your cronies and get out of here!
Borgan: The real Magic Guild? You mean the Magic Guild without any members? Stop talking such nonsense. Now, Miria, come with me to Neo Vane.
And at that moment, the air around both Borgan and Miria began to glow.
Lemina: No! Stop!
Jean ran forward.
Lucia prepared her magic attack... and stopped.
Borgan and Miria were too close to one another. If she struck Borgan, then she would risk hurting Miria. Soon, both Miria and Borgan were gone, and the room was empty, save for the three of them. Lemina was furious. And Lucia... was confused.
What stopped her from using her power? It was far more important for her to get the Black Dragon Power. If she didn't, and Zophar revived, then a lot of people would be hurt--what did it matter that Miria could be hurt by her attack?
That day, Lemina checked in the library for the quickest route from Vane to Horam. They prepared a horse and carriage for the first part of the journey, and set off to leave the very next day.
Chapter 21: Departure... But First
Ruby: Now just hold on! What do you mean it's not enough just to return the White Dragon's power to you?
Back at Taben's Peak, Ruby was complaining to Nall. She didn't understand what more Nall needed to do to become full White Dragon. Nall explained that he would still need to visit the White Dragon Shrine, where his true self was sealed away, which was far away in a frozen tundra.
Nall: We Dragons rule over this world, but only in order to maintain its balance. Our power doesn't work the same way as humans'.
Ruby was still unsatisfied, and she realized that obtaining her own power, and becoming it a full Red Dragon, would be more difficult than she initially thought. But someday, she knew she would. Ruby took a long look at Nall. She noticed his white-and-red hair, his fangs, how he stood, all before he noticed her looking. Another argument started between the two of them, over how neither of them seemed like Dragon material, they were immature, and so on. Although it seemed like they always had fights, the fights never seemed substantive. Until...
Nall: I'll show you! I'll soon become such an awesome Dragon, you'd totally fall head over heels for me!
Ruby: What!? Who could fall for you!?
Nall: Heh, why are you so surprised? I'm sure you could.
Ruby: I... hate you.
Ruby didn't like how brash and arrogant Nall was being. She decided to leave and find someone else--Hiro, Ronfar, maybe Herring, but just someone who calmed her down instead of getting her upset.
Nall left the room. Some of the kids surrounded him, trying to make him feel better.
Kid 1: What happened?
Kid 2: Did you get turned down, Nall?
Nall:: Bah, no way
-There was gentleness in Nall's voice, even though his words semed harsh.-
Kid 3: Nall, I'll become your bride!
Kid 4: I'll make you better with some magic!
Nall: Thank you, everyone...
A smile returned to Nall's face. He hugged each of the children, and they returned a smile.
Nall thought to himself... he hadn't felt this way in a long time. Long ago, when he was just like Ruby, he'd always felt this presence close by. This presence locked within his smile... It was the power of Althena.
Nall: All right, you guys! Tonight I'm gonna tell you a special bedtime story. It'll be fun. It's a story from a long time ago... when I was on an adventure with the last Dragonmaster, Alex, and Luna, the reborn form of the Goddess Althena. So go and make your beds ready.
The kids ran off, telling everyone else in Taben's Peak about the story, so that they could all get ready for it.
Nall: Your nose
Nall: There's something on it.
Hiro: What is it?
Nall: Light. It's some magic that one of the kids learned from Lemina.
Anyway, Nall was looking for where Ruby went off to. Hiro responded that she went to find Ronfar. Anyway, Hiro asked if it was all right if they continue to use the Destiny after Nall regains his power. Nall allowed it.
Nall left to find Ronfar. Once he did, there was no sign of Ruby there either. Ronfar, meanwhile, had been hard at work... He'd been creating some games for the kids there.
Since Nall was going to be leaving for a while, the kids would need more to do while he was gone. Since Nall had set up the hideout here, he'd built the playground, swingsets, see-saws, and everything. What Ronfar was doing now was making some board games, with dice and small miniatures of monsters and other characters. The game would encourage the kids to work together to defeat the monsters, and so it would teach them about teamwork. And, if they learned to work together, they wouldn't fight with one another.
[Editor's Note: So I suppose it's Dungeons and White Dragons?]
Ronfar: You know, you'd make a good grandpa
Nall: Who you calling a grandpa?
Ronfar: Hey I call it how I see it.
Nall: I have to be a parent to all the kids here
Ronfar: Oh, that reminds me... Ruby just came through here... She didn't look that good.
Nall: Where did she go?
Ronfar: She said she was going to the Destiny
Ronfar asked Nall not to start another argument with her. Ruby was always thinking of him, and even though Nall felt like a father figure, it wouldn't do well for him to treat Ruby like another one of the kids here. He'd need to treat her like a woman... even given her occasional immaturity.
Both Ronfar and Nall laughed a bit, and Nall left to find Ruby.
In the meantime, a few more of Leo's former soldiers showed up at the Destiny and Taben's Peak. Together with Hiro, they went around the vicinity of the hideout and cleared the place of monsters. By the time they were done, the area around, and the path to Meribia, were much safer. They also went and sold some of the meat and hides from the monsters they killed in Meribia, to get back a little money for Taben's Peak. Together, they'd made so many improvements that Taben's Peak began to resemble a small village, more than a hideout.
Also, Ruby, Herring, and some of the others had been working hard to cook the meals and bring in some new food. It wasn't that the kids were starving or anything, but it was nice to have some more variety in their lunch and dinner.
After that last day, Nall left the kids at Taben's Peak in the care of the older kids and some of Leo's former soldiers. Nall, together with Hiro, Ronfar, and Ruby, boarded the Destiny, and departed... to the White Dragon Shrine, and to save the world.
Chapter 22: When Three Women Gather...
To get to Horam from Vane, Lemina, Jean, and Lucia would have to cross the sea at one point. It took three days to get to the port town from which they would leave. Once they arrived, they would leave the next day, so they stayed that evening at an inn in town. Jean and Lucia were sitting on the bed, while Lemina was laying across it, calculating out the day's spending and planning out their budget.
All three of them were dressed in night clothes. Lemina had on something from home, Jean had something she picked up at Taben's Peak, and Lucia had something she bought at the last town they'd been in. In fact, it was the first thing she'd picked out and purchased with her own money--Lemina helped her negotiate down the price, but otherwise it was entirely Lucia's doing.
Over the past few days of traveling together, the girls had gotten to know one another well. Jean and Lemina saw how much Lucia had changed. And, Lucia and Jean saw how much Lemina was concerned about her mother. Though, Lemina realized that neither Lucia nor Jean had a mother around to care for...
In fact, Lucia didn't really have any family at all. But perhaps...
Lemina: Maybe you'll make a family with Hiro after the two of you are married?
Jean: It seems that way.
Lemina: We heard from Ruby. Hiro proposed to you that evening on the deck of the Destiny, right?
Lucia: What do you mean?
Lemina: He asked if you would live with him, right? I guess you didn't notice that it was a proposal...
Lucia: So that's what a proposal is?
Jean and Lemina tried to explain what marriage and proposing meant. But Lucia was still confused as to why Hiro would ask that, or why she should agree--she can't abandon her mission, after all.
Lemina: Why? Don't you like him!?
Lucia: Yes, I like Hiro.
Lucia: And Ruby, Ronfar, Nall and the kids, and Jean and Lemina, you too.
-Leo was notably absent from the list.-
Lemina: That's not the same!
Lemina tried to explain that marrying someone doesn't mean giving up your other obligations. Lemina herself had the mission of reviving the Magic Guild. She doesn't really have time right now to be looking for someone to marry, but she does want to marry someone in the future, raise a family, and pass down the leadership of the Magic Guild to her daughter one day, just like her mother passed leadership down to her.
Jean, likewise, said that her mission to end the Shadow Dragon Cult's existence took precedence, and didn't leave her time to look for someone to marry. But, she eventually does want to marry, and have children, so that she can protect them from evil, embrace them, feed them, tuck them in at night, sing with them, dance with them, and raise them well. She's not sure what her husband would be like, but she hasn't really had time to think about that.
Lucia thought to herself, could she really be with Hiro, after her mission was over? No, it wasn't possible. After her time on Lunar, she would have to devote herself back to the task of reviving the Blue Star. There wasn't room for anyone else in those plans. Could Hiro even help? That was unlikely too--how would a human help a goddess? And in any case, if she were sidetracked from her mission, then Lunar itself would be destroyed, and both Jean and Lemina's dreams would fade away into nothing.
Jean laughed. She asked Lemina what kind of man she would like to marry. So Lemina responded: someone a little older, taller than her, and attractive. He would also have to have some magic power--it wouldn't need to be as much as her, but he would need to have some. Oh, and someone rich would be nice, too!
Lemina asked the same question to Jean. So Jean responded that, likewise, she would like someone a little older and taller than her, and someone a bit stronger than her would be good. It would be nice for him to be intelligent, as well. Although, she wouldn't rule out the possibility of marrying someone a little younger and attractive. She couldn't really decide.
Lemina: So, what if the man of your dreams showed up, and said he would marry you, if you gave up your pursuit of the Shadow Dragon Cult?
Jean: Oh, I wouldn't, I wouldn't.
Lemina: Same here... No matter who it is, I would always choose the Magic Guild over a guy.
Some time later, the girls' conversation about their future love life had an effect none of them quite noticed. Jean's dancing changed; it became more fluid, and romantic. On their travels, Jean, Lucia, and Lemina occasionally had to raise extra money, and so Jean would dance while Lemina would create effects with her magic. On one of those occasions, Jean had caught the eye of someone, and had been proposed to; Lemina, likewise, had received a present or two from some other fans. Of course, neither of those offers amounted to anything.
Lucia had started to dance as well, being taught by Jean. And although she wasn't as good as Jean, she did learn far more quickly than expected.
[Translator's Note: I'm not quite sure what was the purpose of the last 2-3 pages of this chapter, to be honest.]
Chapter 23: Horam
Soon enough, the three girls reached Horam. Once they arrived, they noticed a large billboard at the entrance to the city. The billboard advertised the Tournament to be held, and said that the deadline to enter was the morning of the very next day...
It seems they arrived just in time.
Next to the board was an illustrated map of the city, pointing out all the dojos in the city, and where to go to enter the Tournament. As they went inside, they saw people walking about in the uniforms of the various martial arts dojos. There was the Dog Fist and Cat Fist dojo, both designed for beastmen and based on the attack style of animals. There was the Tiger Fist and Snake Fist dojo, which also seemed to be based on animal attack styles. There were other signs for the Drunken Fist and Bunny-girl dojos, adjacent to one another, and known across the world. And beside those was the Armadillo Fist dojo...
Jean: Say, where did Lucia go?
Lucia had got caught up by a vendor's stand a few feet back.
Lucia: Lemina, would you please buy this?
Lemina: There's no sense buying something you don't need... what is this?
The vendor there was selling a guidebook with an illustrated map of Horam. After the sales pitch ended...
Lemina: Lucia, we can buy this once the tournament is over. We can't waste time!
Lucia: Once the tournament is over, we don't need to stay in Horam any longer, and so we won't need it.
Lemina: Oh... I see. I thought you were getting a present for Hiro. But if that's not the case...
-Lemina looked over the guidebook for a moment-
Lemina: Lucia, this is the same map as the one at the entrance to the city...
Moving on, they finally arrived at the Blue Dragon Dojo, at the desk for entry into the Tournament. There were already several other potential applicants standing around from the other various dojos, and seated at the desk was the Master of the Blue Dragon Dojo himself. When they got to the desk, Lemina wondered aloud.
Lemina: I wonder if Lunn ever trained here?
-The person at the desk went sullen.-
Master: I suppose that it's not well-known outside of Horam. But some time ago, Lunn was ejected from this dojo. I've heard that he's set up another dojo in Meribia, but it has absolutely no relation to us.
Continuing, Jean stated her intention to enter the Tournament.
Master: Young lady... Why do you wish to enter the Tournament?
Jean: To defeat Lunn.
Master: There seems to be much weighing on your mind, young lady... Please, tell me.
Responding to the Master's question, Jean explained her past... How she was taken from her home village by the Shadow Dragon Cult. How she was forcibly trained. How her friends disappeared. How she became the strongest of the group, and was trained to kill. And then, how she escaped... She was found by a wandering Caravan, and brought up as one of their own. She tried to continue her life as a dancer, to forget her past--but no matter how much she tried, she couldn't put away her past. And so, she set off on another journey, to find the Cult, and it was then that she encountered Hiro and the others. With them, she went to Pentagulia, found out about Lunn's true identity, and about the False Althena and the Real Althena imprisoned within Pentagulia's walls.
She continued... Lunn now has the power of the Blue Dragon, and they needed to retrieve it to lift the seal in Pentagulia. And, she needed to put a stop to Lunn's spread of his karate of death.
The Master listened intently, nodding. After Jean was finished, he responded that he understood her resolve, and told her about Lunn's own past. He first came to the Blue Dragon Dojo when he was about Jean's age. He grew stronger each day, and soon amassed a great deal of influence and respect among the others in Horam. But, he would constantly denigrate the other martial arts, like the Bunny-girl Dojo and the Drunken Fist. He was so focused on winning, on defeating everyone else, on making the Blue Dragon Fist the most powerful karate in the world, that he lost sight of the true meaning of the martial arts. He believed in nothing other than power, and that might makes right.
He then joined Althena's Guard, and began training another girl in his own dark karate of death. One day, he called a gathering of several of the other dojos. They were not prepared for a fight, but Lunn and his disciple were, and they summarily attacked the representatives of the other schools of martial arts. It was then that Lunn was ejected from the Blue Dragon Dojo forever, and when he left for Meribia to set up his own school. Using the money and power he gained from Althena's Guard, he continued to spread his influence, the influence of the Shadow Dragon Fist.
The Master added that, very occasionally, students would still enter the Blue Dragon Dojo hoping to train and follow in Lunn's footsteps. That has been a source of some problem.
Before he continued, the Master asked if Jean had any further questions.
Jean: Master, there is one question weighing on my mind ever since I decided to fight Lunn. If I win in this Tournament, and defeat Lunn, will I simply prove his point that strength is everything? Am I wrong in wanting to defeat him?
Master: Young lady, do you understand the difference between you and Lunn?
Master: Your intent. Lunn's intention is to win. But, once he wins, then what will he do? He has nothing. He will simply win to grow stronger, grow stronger to fight again, fight again to win. There is no purpose, and there is nothing left. All he knows is strength. He has lost all concept of sympathy and concern for those weaker than he. And so, every time he fights, every time he wins, he only creates more enemies for himself.
Anyone who yearns for more power must learn this first: one may grow stronger, but that is not a victory. One must learn sympathy, and concern. One must keep in mind those who are weaker--that is where the martial arts truly begin. Young lady, I know that you understand this fact already.
Jean: What? I understand?
Master: Yes. Lunn has overcome great hardship in order to become stronger, but in doing so, he has learned to look down upon others. But you, you have overcome similar hardships, yet you have learned to treat others kindly. Even now, you use your power to save others, instead of bringing more of the kind of pain you experienced in your own past. Within your heart, you have sympathy, and so you cannot lose.
Master: And as long as you have that in your heart... Young lady, when you fight, you are thinking of the children you are saving, and so you will never give up. That is why you will not lose.
Lucia: No, that is wrong... We must retrieve the Blue Dragon Power from Lunn. This is our last chance to do so. If we fail, then all will be lost.
This was a bit too heavy a matter for the Blue Dragon Master to get involved; he didn't understand what Lucia had at stake. But, he pointed out that it was more than simply retrieving the Blue Dragon Power from Lunn that guided them here. After all, if that were their only concern, then they would simply utilize the "Thieves' Fist" to steal his power, and be on their way. Although, Jean pointed out that even if they stole the power back, Lunn would simply pursue them, and they would eventually have to fight. So, they had no choice.
Master: Young lady, have you decided on a place to stay? If you have not, then I would... I would like to offer you a place at this dojo. But as you see, there are only men here. If you would feel more comfortable in a dojo of women, such as the Bunny-girl Dojo, then I am sure they would accept you.
Lemina: We'll take whichever place is cheaper!
Master: Now, this is not an inn. You would be here as my guests; of course you would be allowed to stay free of charge.
Lemina: Free! Mega-awesome! Thank you so much old man!
Master: Now... Jean... In the meantime, I request that you train with me.
And so, before the tournament, Jean trained under the Master of the Blue Dragon Fist. The Master explained that Blue Dragon Fist, and Shadow Dragon Fist, were opposite sides of the same coin. They each utilized the same power, but the Shadow Dragon Fist focused on taking that power to extremes, regardless of the cost, and focused only on the power itself instea dof what that power was used for. That is why it was a forbidden art.
Jean resolved, then, never to use the Shadow Dragon Fist during her fight. She had always been fearful of the extent of her own power, and she said so during her training. The Master explained why: to unleash the full extent of her power would be to use the Shadow Dragon Fist. But to use it for a good purpose, and never to forget that purpose, would be to keep it in check and only use the Blue Dragon Fist.
Jean didn't quite understand the full extent of what the Blue Dragon Master was saying. But she listened intently, thinking it over all the while as her training continued.
Chapter 24: The Tournament
From that day, Jean continued to receive instruction from the Master of the Blue Dragon Fist. Meanwhile, since Lemina and Lucia had free time, they were both invited by the Bunny-girl Dojo to train with them and help out. Mainly, they had use for Lemina's magic in adding some effects to their performances. In exchange, they let them stay and eat at the dojo for free. Although, they did notice Lucia was a little distracted.
Lemina: Maybe you're homesick?
Lucia: Home... sick?
Lemina: For Hiro. Being separated from your boyfriend must be tough. I know! We'll train in Bunny Karate together! That should take your mind off of things.
And so the girls learned the art of Bunny Karate.
The day of the Tournament eventually came. It was a clear morning, the stands were filled with spectators, and the ground was full of other martial artists also in the Tournament. Before it began, the Blue Dragon Master told Jean that she was free to fight on in the name of the Blue Dragon Fist; she had earned that right.
Lemina and Lucia went into the stands, together with a few other people from the Bunny-girl Dojo, which wasn't participating in the Tournament. They looked across the grounds at the other contestants: beastwomen from the Cat Fist Dojo, heavily-armored fighters from the Armadillo Fist Dojo, unbalanced-looking men from the Drunken Fist Dojo, and so on. People in the stands were cheering on particular fighters and the dojos they represented.
Lucia was a bit confused. What purpose did it serve to cheer someone on? It wasn't as if the people in the stands were fighting; they had nothing to do with the outcome of the Tournament. But, Lemina insisted that she cheer on, and even taught her how.
Eventually, as the fights progressed, Lucia started seeing the kind of effect they had. The people fighting were encouraged by the kind of support they got from the stands. They could fight better and recover more quickly. Lucia saw, this kind of support, the support from each and every person there, was due to the power that Althena chose to spread amongst the inhabitants of Lunar. It was through their support of one another that the people in the stands, despite not fighting themselves, could help those who were in the fight.
Through it all, two people won victory after victory: Jean, and the Shadow Dragon Cult. But Jean's victories were different... She won the respect and the love of the crowd. Her fighting gave them joy, and their joy in turn gave her happiness. It was just like when she would dance in the Caravan.
It wa then that she realized, it wasn't power she had to be afraid of, because power in itself was not evil. How one chose to pursue and use that power was what mattered. And, so long as she used her power to fight for others and not for herself, she needn't fear. At the same time, Lunn and his disciples continued to win battle after battle. But, their battles won them no support from the crowd.
Eventually, the time came for the final battle between Jean and Lunn. Jean approached the fight silently, with a smile on her face. Lunn didn't seem so big anymore, or so scary. She no longer had anything to fear. She knew she could win...
The fight began. Jean and Lunn were trained in the same martial art, but the different purpose each had manifested itself in a completely different fighting style. Lunn's actions were stiff; he approached the fight like a battle, and his only purpose was to kill. Jean's actions were fluid; she approached the fight like a dance. Her purpose was not to kill, but to win; and even that victory was not for herself, but for all the people under Lunn's control. As the fight progressed, Jean only drew more and more support from the crowd.
Lucia could see the effect that the crowd's support had on Jean better than most people there. She could see the power imparted from the spectators cheering her on to Jean, as she rode the wave of support. Throughout the fight, Jean moved with the flow, her strikes natural and fluid. Lunn moved against the flow, his strikes harsh and desperate. Jean was strong, and Lunn was stronger. But it became apparent that strength was not what mattered in this fight.
And then, in a moment's lapse, Lunn faltered, Jean struck hard, and the Master of the Shadow Dragon Cult was defeated. It took a moment for Lunn to realize his own defeat--and that, subsequently, it meant the end of his spread of the Shadow Dragon Fist. But... Jean didn't follow through.
Lunn: Why... did you stop?
Jean: Why? Because I didn't want to kill you.
Lunn had a hard time understanding. For him, the power he gained from the martial arts was only a tool for killing his enemies. But Jean saw it another way. She didn't deliver the final blow to Lunn because she didn't want to kill him--despite him being her enemy. She didn't wish to kill anyone.
Eventually, Lunn understood Jean's meaning...
Lunn: I see... My karate is the power to kill. But yours, is the power to live. You fight not for yourself, but for everyone... And that is the true form of the Blue Dragon Fist... ...
Jean: Lunn, you are still alive. And as long as you are alive, there is a way to make amends. Let's go to the Blue Dragon Dojo; the Master is waiting for you.
Lunn: For me? Impossible.
Jean: He has been waiting for you to return, ever since the day you were ejected from the dojo.
Thereafter, news of Jean's victory over Lunn spread throughout the city. That evening, there were celebrations in Horam. Jean returned to the Blue Dragon Dojo, where she, Lemina, and Lucia were all treated by them and the Bunny-girl Dojo. Jean danced, Lemina lit off magic fireworks, and Lucia sang.
During the celebrations, Lunn approached Lucia. He handed her the aura of the Blue Dragon. Lucia took it, smiling.
Lucia: You never used the Blue Dragon's power once, did you?
-Lunn didn't answer her question.-
Lunn: Are you really... a goddess?
Lucia: I am not your goddess. Your goddess is Althena. She has been sealed within Pentagulia, but her power is spread throughout this world, and even within you. I felt that power coming from the crowd during the Tournament.
Lucia explained her purpose to revive the Four Dragons and lift the seal on Pentagulia. Lunn understood, and responded that, in the meantime, he would continue to train here under the Blue Dragon Master.
It was then that the Blue Dragon Master himself came in, suggesting that Lunn try out something new he just received: an outfit from the Bunny-girl Dojo. After a few jokes back and forth, Jean interjects and asks the Blue Dragon Master not to give Lunn too hard a time.
Jean, Lemina, and Lucia reunite with one another. Lucia shows the others the Blue Dragon power that she received from Lunn, and adds that she already senses that the White Dragon has been revived. That must mean Hiro, Ronfar, Ruby, and Nall must have safely completed their mission.
That left only the Black and Red Dragons to go...
[Translator's Note: Between the English and Japanese versions of Eternal Blue, Jean takes a very different attitude towards Lunn after defeating him. The Japanese versions consistently have her much more forgiving and lenient; the novelization keeps to this. ...personally, I greatly prefer her attitude in the English version, but that's not important here.]
Chapter 25: White Dragon's Revival
Ruby: Why is it so cold in here!?
Ruby was huddled up in Hiro's cloak, as she, Hiro, and Ronfar progressed through the cave to White Dragon Shrine. The shrine was completely encased in ice, and so the entire cavern around it was cold and bright. The cave that housed the shrine was a labyrinth that, in itself, was difficult to traverse.
Nall left them when they departed the Destiny. As he explained...
Nall: I mean, it's a cave of trial for people who wish to become Dragonmaster. It's been carved out this way just to make it difficult to get to the end. SOrry, but, if you can't find your way through here, then you don't really have much of a chance against Ghaleon. If you want to become Dragonmaster yourself, you'll have to tough it out.
So, Hiro, Ronfar, and Ruby went by themselves into the cave and towards the shrine. Ruby was shivering all the while.
Eventually, they saw a sign of a dragon... or what looked like a dragon.
Ronfar: We're here!
Ruby: No! That's not the White Dragon! It's something else! That's not Nall!
Ronfar: What do you mean?
Ruby: I'm scared! Oh, this is just like when we were at the Blue Spire!
Ruby recalled when Zophar appeared to them at the Blue Spire, and stole Lucia's power. She felt that same fear and panic now. Hiro understood, and so he told Ruby to wait here while he and Ronfar would go on ahead to defeat the monster. Ruby wanted to protest, but her fear had her paralyzed as the other two went ahead to the large room with the White Dragon Fiend.
Ruby was now alone. The cold gripped her, and the feeling became worse as she saw into the next room, where Hiro and Ronfar were fighting. At one end of the room, she saw what looked like trash... except, it wasn't ordinary trash, it was corpses, bodies, of other animals that had been here before. And among them, she saw the remains of a human hand.
"Don't be afraid!"
Ruby heard Nall's voice, clearly.
Nall: Ruby! Don't be afraid!
Nall: Good, you can hear me! Now, listen up! You can't be afraid! ... That thing there is not a dragon. It's nothing like a dragon, and you're nothing like it!
Ruby: ...ok, but, I'm scared. And cold. I can't move...
Nall: The cold is because of my power. The fear, is because of Zophar's power. And, you can't move because your power has been sealed. You have to separate these things.
Nall explained that even though her power has been sealed, she can still overcome anything if she doesn't give up. She still has some power, and she can use that to surmount the cold, and the fear, and move again. Nall presses on, telling Ruby that she needs to move, she needs to go into that room and help Hiro and Ronfar.
First, there was the cold. That was due to Nall's power. She had no reason to fear Nall, so she could overcome the cold.
Then, there was the fear. That was due to Zophar's power. But, she needn't fear, because Nall was close by, and would stay with her.
Nall: I'm very close. I'm on the other side of that fiend. If you, Hiro, and Ronfar can get to me, then we can release the seal on my power. Help us out here!
Nall: That White Dragon Fiend is using my power, he's using it to hurt Hiro and Ronfar! And not just them... It's because of his abuse of my power that the rest of Lunar has been suffering from the cold!
Nall tried to continue encouraging Ruby... She was small, yes, but she still had the heart of a dragon, and could still do great things. But if she didn't... then Hiro and Ronfar would surely die.
Nall: The fiend can't die, as long as he still has hold over my power.
Ruby: Then why don't you come here!? Why don't you help us yourself!?
Nall: You idiot! If I go there, then I'll be sealed up along with my power! Then I won't be able to do anything!
After more encouragement from Nall, more reinforcement, more support, Ruby finally mustered up the courage to do something... She steeled her resolve, and rushed into the room.
There, Ronfar and Hiro were still busy fighting a severely one-sided battle. Neither of them could make a scratch on the White Dragon Fiend by the time Ruby came in.
Hiro: No! Ruby! Go back!
Ruby: Hurry up! We need to get away! We have to get to the back of the room, and fast!
Ruby pointed the way to the small passageway exiting the room, that Nall described earlier. Hiro and Ronfar rushed in, while Ruby distracted the fiend. At the last second, Ruby rushed into the passageway to follow the rest.
The passage itself was too small for the White Dragon Fiend to follow. But, before they could consider themselves safe, the fiend lowered its head, opened its mouth, and prepared to attack with its dragon's breath... And just then, Hiro plunged his sword into its throat.
The fiend barely flinched, as if it felt no pain. It didn't seem to hurt it... but it did damage it, just enough to where it couldn't draw in enough air to attack with its breath. Hiro and the others used this opportunity to make their escape to the back of the cave.
They arrived in a quiet chamber. It was an enormous room in the cavern, with a white stone at the center.
Ruby: We're here. You should throw the White Dragon aura at that stone. That's what Nall said.
Ruby: Yeah. He was with me earlier... well, his voice, anyway.
So, Hiro did as Ruby said and threw the aura at the stone, releasing the White Dragon's power. The room shook, and the stone disappeared. Then, they heard Nall's voice calling down.
"I told you! I told you this would be cool!"
He appeared in the middle of a lake of ice! Thousands, tens of thousands of pieces of ice shattered out from where the stone used to be, raining down in the cavern. Standing there, instead, was the White Dragon. His fur was white-and-red, his eyes were the same as Nall's, and he even looked as young and brash as the Nall they'd come to know.
Ruby: Wow... that really is cool... So this is what a real dragon looks like...
On their way back, they passed through the room that once held the White Dragon Fiend. The room was empty now, except for Hiro's sword lying on the ground. He retrieved it, and they went back to the Destiny. As Nall promised, he freely allowed his power to be used to continue moving the Destiny, so that they could complete their quest.
Their destination now would be Serak Palace, where the Red Dragon's power, and the Red Priest Mauri, would be. There was still plenty of time before they reached the palace, so Ruby spent much of the time lying down on the deck of the ship, looking up at the sky, wondering what it would be like when she, too, would become a full-fledged Red Dragon.
Essay - Lunar and Me
Akari Funato, the illustrator for the novels, and the creator of several of the manga volumes, speaks a bit about how she got into Lunar and how she feels about the series.
The translation of this section is available here: Lunar: Eternal Blue, Lucia of the Blue Star - Vol. 2 - Funato's Essay.