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Lunar SSS, Vol. 3 - Soaring Thoughts - Summary


Summary by Kizyr
Lunar Silver Star Story 3, Soaring Thoughts (Kakeru Omoi)
Author: Kei Shigema
Illustrations: Akari Funato
Publisher: Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko

Translation and Summary is by Kizyr. The translation and summary may not be posted or used anywhere without permission.

To recap: Alex, Luna, and Nall set forth from the village of Burg, as Alex wishes to become a legendary Dragonmaster by taking the trials of the Four Dragons (having already passed the trial of the White Dragon with Nash, an elite magician from Vane). They crossed over from Caldor Island to the mainland city of Meribia; but on the way, they ran into Xenobia, a woman who claimed to be the leader of the Vile Tribe who was exiled to the Frontier 500 years ago by the Goddess Althena. With the help of Jessica and the Pirate of Justice Kyle, not to mention thanks to Alex's leadership, they escaped and made it to the mainland. But, once there, Nash leaves the others behind to go onto Vane himself to find the location of the other three dragons. Alex, Luna, and Nall, thanks to the help of Master Mel, the governer of Meribia, journey to the nearest Transmission Spring by which they can reach Vane. But, upon arriving, Nash and a young girl named Mia teleport in. Mia is the next Premier of the Magic Guild, and states her intention to become the next Dragonmaster.

Chapter 5: The Magic City of Vane

[5] Mia declares her intention to take the trials of the Four Dragons and become the next Dragonmaster, for the sake of Vane. Nash is surprised, and tries to convince her to return to Vane. Mia, though, says that she must--for the sake of Vane--but asks Nash to help her as he's already passed the trial of the White Dragon.

At that point, Nall interjects and says that Alex can take her--since Alex also passed the White Dragon's trial, and Nall wouldn't mind having another pretty girl in the group. Nash is fuming at the perceived disrespect for Mia. He says that Alex only decided to take the trial at the last minute. Mia, though, wonders why Nash didn't go into mentioning someone else taking the trial in his official report to the Guild. Nash stammers that he didn't think it was important, and evades the question.

Truth is, though, Mia has never talked with Nash this closely, not since the day that Nash first entered the Magic Guild. And since Nash has had an all-too-obvious crush on Mia since day one, it's all he can do to avoid blushing.

Anyway, Nash then says that Mia has nothing to worry. Nash will become Dragonmaster and thereby protect Vane--and Mia. Nall interjects that it's Alex who'll be the next Dragonmaster, and a little argument starts up.

[17] But then, something strange is in the air. Everyone goes silent.

 

Mia: ...I... I feel a strong and dark feeling in the air, coming from the direction of those boulders. What is this...? I've never felt this before...
Nash: I remember this, Lady Mia. This feeling, it's...
(Alex draws his sword upon hearing Nash's words)
Nash: It's the Vile Tribe!

At that moment, from the shadows of the boulders came dark shapes that look like deformed humans. Nash recognizes them as magical constructs of the Vile Tribe; Mia is shocked that they're here in the open like this. There were six of them in total. Nash starts the incantation to cast lightning magic, while Alex fights back some of the constructs to protect the group. Mia and Luna are behind them. Mia herself starts another incantation.

[20] Alex leaps into the air and brings his sword down. The monsters are taken off-guard and Alex manages to take out three of them, then turns around and takes out a fourth. The fifth one approaches behind him, and when it's about to attack, Nash unleashes his thunder magic and incinerates it. The sixth monster, however, comes up from behind them. Mia unleashes her fire magic and takes out the last.

[24] There's no time to rest, though. Three more magical constructs come to attack before they have time to recover. But then, the transport pad lights up again and a flurry of fire and ice magic comes forth to take out the three monsters. When the dust settles, they see that three people have just transported in: two boys and one girl, all dressed in the robes of the Magic Guild, like Nash, and about the same age. The three of them are Gazelle, Shumile, and Arno, elite magicians from the Magic Guild of Vane. Alex and Luna thank the trio, and Alex begins to introduce themselves, but the trio ignore them and focus their attention on Mia.

 

Gazelle: Now then, Lady Mia. We have come to retrieve you. Please don't make this difficult.
Mia: But... but I...
Nash: Hold on there, Gazelle. I actually came to...
Gazelle: We don't have time for this. Master Ghaleon's orders were to find Mia, who had gotten lost, and bring her back. There is no other pertinent information. You must also know this.
Nash: But I...
Gazelle: We're done here. Now, Lady Mia!
(Gazelle forcefully grabs Mia's hand)
Mia: Ouch!
Nash: Hey! Don't mistreat Lady Mia!
Gazelle: Heh, sorry about that. But, even though she's Lady Lemia's daughter, that doesn't mean that she can go around and do whatever she wishes. Now then, Shumile, Arno, let's go.

The other two students surround Mia and escort her back. At this point, Alex gets in their way.

 

Gazelle: Huh? Who are you?
Alex: I am Alex! And don't you think you're being too forceful? She looks like she doesn't want to go with you!
Nall: Yeah, Alex! And we'll stop you if we have to!
Gazelle: Hmph! You and what army, I wonder? You're looking at three of Vane's elite--
Nash: -cough-
Gazelle: Right, four of Vane's elite. What makes you think you can fight us?
Alex: I don't want to fight. I just want you to respect her wishes.

[29] Before the argument gets any more heated, Mia yells at them to stop. She doesn't want to be the cause of a fight; she'll go back to Vane willingly. Mia is escorted back to the transport pad by the three other students. Nash asks them to go on ahead; he'll stay behind to have a word with Alex. The trio, plus Mia, teleport out.

 

Nash: Alex, as your ally who has travelled with you, I must warn you--
Nall: Ally?! What kind of ally just abandons us in Meribia!?
Alex: Stop it, Nall. What's done is done. Nash is still our ally.
Luna: Yes. And, he's a friend as well.
Nall: Well fine, then. You can believe him if you want...
Nash: Like I said, I need to warn you about something first. I've already checked around the Magic Library of Vane, and there's no new information about the location of the remaining Dragons. So, you'd better just not bother coming to Vane. Moreover, the Magic Guild isn't very welcoming of people who don't have magic talents, and have no intention of pursuing magic studies.
Nall: Is this just another thing you're telling us so we'll go away?
Alex: No, I believe you, Nash. Thank you for the warning, but...
(Alex retrieves a letter from his backpack)
Alex: I have some other business with Ghaleon. Master Mel has asked me to take this directly to him.

Nash is shocked that Alex actually met with Master Mel, the Governor of Meribia. He checks and sees that the official seal of the Alkirk house is on the note. He acquiesces, and agrees to take Alex and the others to meet with Ghaleon personally. They step onto the transport pad together. Nash tells them that once the transport pad is activated, it will be very bright; they should close their eyes and count to three before opening them, and they'll be in Vane. Nash begins the incantation to activate the pad, and it lights up.

Alex: One... two... thr--

[35] The magic city of Vane. The city which floats in the skies, above the ground. It is a town that everyone in the world knows about, that anyone can see (from the ground), and a most mysterious place. It is the setting of many a bard's tale, and it is the center of regulation of the world's magicians. When, where, how, and by whom was the city made able to float in the skies like this, is still a complete mystery. Some legends say that Vane has been in the skies since the Goddess Althena first transformed the the world from a barren wasteland to a land of green. There are also bards' tales that say that, over 1000 years ago, Vane was created as a fortress for people against the attacks of the Vile Tribe. But, which story is true is something that the Magic Guild has not spoken of, and that no one can truly confirm. And, as long as Vane has inspired awe in people, it has slowly circled around the Goddess Tower.

Alex opened his eyes. Vane was impressive. It had its similarities to Black Rose Street in Meribia, with red-bricked buildings and people in robes all about. But, Vane wasn't stuffy and closed like Black Rose Street was. Alex and the others are amazed that an entire city is floating in the air like this. Nash tells them that this is the center of the world's magic, and as such, the only people here are magic-users, and the occasional merchant.

Nash explains that Vane itself is shaped like a cone, with the city on the flatter, circular part at the top. At the back is a large building and two towers: the Magic Guild, the Silver Spire, and the Crystal Spire.

[38] The Silver Spire, the Crystal Spire, and the Magic Guild. These places were at the heart of many bards' tales that Alex was familiar with. The legendary Dragonmaster Lady Chloe [kuroe], a beastwoman, together with the Premier of the Magic Guild Miruka [miruka], and the Priest of Althena Jevron [jevuron], sealed away a "great darkness" in the Silver Spire. And another time, Cyclone Zeon [zeon] took Milenia [mireenia] and ascended the spiral staircase inside the Crystal Spire. Much later, the Gold and Silver Sisters Alicia and Laticia [arishia, rixina] each climbed to the top of the Silver and Crystal Spires.

There were so many legends about Vane, and now Alex could see the buildings and places he's only heard about in those legends before his very eyes. Luna, though, feels a bit strange, but can't quite figure out why.

[41] Nash continues his explanation about Vane. Across from the Magic Guild are the Magic Library and the Magic School. There is also a large plaza at the center of Vane. The plaza is where many of Vane's ceremonies and rituals take place. For instance, the plaza is where Dragonmaster Nike [nike] once--

Alex continues the story: where the Four Dragons were once gathered to appoint the new Dragonmaster. Dragonmaster Nike was the one who took all Four Dragons' trials at once, in that plaza.

"How do you do, Nash?"

While they're speaking, a woman comes up to greet Nash. She has beautiful silver hair and a blue-white stola (toga). Nash responds. The woman congratulates him on having passed the White Dragon's Trial, and says that she's here having been summoned by Lemia. She asks about the people with Nash; Nash responds that they're travellers who have business in Vane, but not new students. The woman turns to Alex and introduces herself as Phacia.

 

Phacia: Pleased to meet you. My name is Phacia. I am a fortune-teller, from Black Rose Street
Alex: I am Alex Noah, from Burg. And this is--
Luna: I am Luna. We were also in Meribia not too long ago.

 

Phacia: Oh, I heard an interesting rumor while I was in Meribia
Nall: What's that?
Phacia: I heard that some thieves broke into Master Mel's mansion. But, it turns out that one of the thieves was really an adventurer trying to become Dragonmaster.
Alex: Oh, um...
Phacia: At first I thought it was Nash, but...
Nall: No way! We were the thieves!
Alex: Um, well... I'm not really a thief, that's--

Phacia smiles. She also heard about how they saved Jessica from the Vile Tribe. Apparently, all sorts of rumors come her way through her fortune-telling store. She asks Luna if she would like to know her own future; Luna can see the fire in the back of her eyes as she asks.

Luna: (Where have I seen those eyes before...)

[49] While Phacia talks about divination and her ability to see Luna's future, Nash interrupts and tries to remind Phacia that they all have other business to attend to. Phacia is leaving for Meribia the following day, so perhaps they can see her there. Luna still has an uneasy feeling about it all, but says nothing.

After Phacia departs, Nash explains his dislike of Phacia.

Nash: It doesn't matter how nice she acts. She's a fortuneteller who isn't even a member of the Magic Guild... Yet, Lady Lemia relies on her divination. Even if she has her own shop on Black Rose Street, that doesn't mean she should have free access to Vane! That privilege should be reserved for the Magic Guild's elite! For the best magicians in the world. I really don't know why she's been allowed in here. And I'm not the only one who thinks so; many others within the Magic Guild also think that allowing her in so freely is dangerous, and compromises the tradition and history of Vane!

Nash guides them to the Magic Guild, and takes them through the maze of corridors and staircases inside. They pass by many others in similar robes on their way through. The finally come to a room with tables and chairs, and a full-length window on one wall. Nash tells them to wait there while he speaks with Ghaleon--he also says that they're his responsibility, so they're not to go anywhere, including the inside garden.

[55] Nash leaves. Several minutes pass, and eventually Alex and Nall get restless. They open the front door and check to see if anyone is outside. Luna protests, but Alex and Nall swear to be back soon. So, Luna waits, while Nall and Alex go out to explore a bit.

[58] For perhaps the first time since they left Burg, Luna has time to herself to think about their journey. A lot has happened: they've explored the world, they've met new friends, and Alex has changed from a dreamer to someone trying to realize his dream. Alex's father used to say that Alex has wings that we cannot see; perhaps those wings will let him become Dragonmaster one day. Luna then thinks about her past: she was brought up by Alex's parents in Burg, with Nall, since she was little--but what about her real mother and father? She thinks back to Phacia's offer to look into her future; but, she doesn't even know about her own past.

Luna looks out the window and sees the garden. She then hears something: music, a very familiar melody carried on the wind, the same song that Alex plays on his ocarina. But, this wasn't an ocarina that was playing it.

[63] Luna opens the window and enters the garden, following the sound. Smiling, she starts singing with the melody. The first thing she sees is the instrument playing the song--a stringed instrument that's all colors of the rainbow. She then sees that it's not Alex who's playing it... She stops singing, and blushes.

The person playing it is a handsome man, wearing a light purple toga. He's sitting next to a channel of water which flows into a spring. Luna apologizes, saying she thought it was someone else playing--the man says he doesn't mind.

 

Luna: The... the song you played earlier. It was lovely. It's one of my favorite songs...
Man: It is a song that Dragonmaster Dyne wrote, when he was just a boy dreaming of an adventure.
Luna: Dragonmaster Dyne?! I didn't know that. I wonder where Alex learned such a song? Perhaps his father tought him? Hmph, why doesn't he tell me these things?

The man asks if she's a new student. Luna says that they're not; she's came here with someone else, Alex, who's searching for the Dragons to become a Dragonmaster.

"And what about you? Is there anything that you're searching for?"

[68] The question catches Luna off-guard. She hasn't thought about that too closely.

 

Luna: Yes... A dream
Man: A dream?
Luna: Yes, I've had dreams where I'm not myself... I had a feeling that this journey might help me understand what that dream means... perhaps...

It's the first time Luna's been able to answer that question so clearly. The man thanks her for the song, and departs. Luna still has a strange feeling about the man, intrigue mixed with slight fear.

Luna goes back to the waiting room. Alex and Nall finally return. Luna's face is red, but she doesn't say anything about the man in the garden. Nall complains that they couldn't find anything: every door is locked and requires a key to open. Nall then sees that the window to the garden is open, and they can take a look. Luna protests, but hesitates when Nall and Alex ask why. Just in time, though, Nash comes in and says that Ghaleon will now meet with them.

[Note: Lemia is referred to as the Leader of the Magic Guild, using the word 'toushu', meaning the head of a (ruling) family. Ghaleon is referred to as the Premier of the Magic Guild, using the word 'saishou', meaning a Prime Minister. For convenience, and to keep consistent with the English translations of The Silver Star and Silver Star Story, I refer to Lemia as the Leader of the Guild, or the Guildmistress. I refer to Ghaleon as the Premier of the Magic Guild. I hope this doesn't cause any confusion.]

[73] Master Ghaleon, the Premier of the Magic Guild of Vane. He was one of the Four Heroes who fought alongside Dragonmaster Dyne. And, he is the one most shrouded in mystery. The bards' tales say nothing of his first encounter with Dyne. And nothing seems to be known about Ghaleon prior to his adventures with Dyne. The bards' tales begin when Dyne and Ghaleon first came to the Magic City of Vane. Ghaleon and Dyne, together with Lemia, saved the Guildmistress of the Magic Guild during a time of great danger. And then, the three of them continued their journey together. When bards spoke of Ghaleon, they always spoke of his reason and logic, his calm and collected nature, when compared to Dyne. They also wrote about his great knowledge and understanding of history, magic, arts, medicine, and so on. In all, the bards referred to the Four Heroes as Dyne the Hero, the Magician Lemia, the Warrior Mel, and the Great Sage Ghaleon.

[Note: The 'time of great danger' here refers to the incident with the airship, which is described in the Vane manga, Chapter 2. LunarNET has a translation of the manga available here: Lunar: Tale of the Vane Airship.]

Nash guides Alex, Luna, and Nall through more hallways and finally to Ghaleon's office. The office has a high ceiling and a long desk on one end. When Ghaleon turns to greet them, Luna gasps--the man is the same one she saw earlier in the garden.

 

Ghaleon: Welcome to Vane. I am Ghaleon, Premier.
Alex: Th... thank you. I am Alex Noah.
Luna: I... I am Luna. Um, earlier...
Ghaleon: ...yes?
Luna: Oh... No, it's nothing.

She says nothing, however. Ghaleon seemed so strict and formal that he was almost a different person than when Luna sang with him in the garden. After introductions, they move to the subject of the Vile Tribe and the Magic Emperor. Alex delivers the message he received from Mel to Ghaleon.

Ghaleon: The Vile Tribe, and the Magic Emperor... hm?

[78] Ghaleon's response... he doesn't believe that they truly saw the Vile Tribe, or the 'Magic Emperor'. Ghaleon turns to a half-globe shape on his desk. On the front end is a map of Lunar, with the familiar continents and oceans. Ghaleon turns the hemisphere around to the opposite end, the blank end.

Ghaleon: According to Vane's records, the Vile Tribe was banished long ago by the Goddess Althena to the Frontier. ... The Frontier is on the opposite end of the world where we live. It is a place where the Blue Star does not shine, and where Althena's power does not reach. And, the Frontier is sealed away by the power of the Four Dragons. There is no way they could escape from this confinement, so long as the Goddess Althena is--

Alex tries to explain. But, Ghaleon points out that they have no proof that it was the Vile Tribe who attacked them. Now, in all likelihood they were attacked; but, it could not have been by the Vile Tribe. Nevertheless, he will consult with Lemia on the matter.

Before they leave, Ghaleon wants to have a few words with Alex. He's heard that Alex wishes to become a Dragonmaster--the first in fifteen years. Ghaleon thanks Alex, first, for his assistance in helping Nash find the White Dragon to take his trial. He then offers to allow Alex to stay in Vane to research the location of the remaining Dragons; Nash will help him with anything he should need, in the meantime (much to Nash's irritation--even though he wouldn't think of contradicting Ghaleon).

[83] Per Ghaleon's instructions, Nash escorts Alex and the others to the dormitory where they will be staying. Their room has two beds and two desks, and while small, still has a lovely view. The rest of the building is empty. Nash explains that there are two dormitories; however, the number of students is less than it was in times past, on account of increasing standards at Vane, and so only one of the two dorm buildings is sufficient. Moreover, Nash wouldn't have Alex and the others disturbing the real students of the Magic Guild who are all far too busy with their magic studies to be disturbed by a group of country folk.

Before Nall can claw out Nash for the insult, Alex changes the subject. He asks after Mia. Nash explains that, after the incident at the transporter, Mia has decided to remain in Vane of her own accord--anything else is none of Alex's business. Nash then says that he'll return early tomorrow morning to meet with Alex before going to the Magic Library, where they'll begin their research. Nash finally leaves the room. After he's gone, Nall is still worried about Mia, though since they don't know where she lives inside of Vane, they decide to try and speak with Ghaleon again to find out.

[87] Before going to bed that night, Alex and Nall (as always) decide to explore the building and area a little. They venture out and see that they're on the third of three floors, with 30 rooms total on this floor (which can house 60 students). In all, the building itself could hold about 150 students, meaning the other dorm (the one that is actually occupied) could hold about the same. But, when they were in the rest of Vane earlier, it didn't seem like there were even that many students at the school. Alex also recalls that when Dyne came to Vane, he didn't really have any intention to study magic

Luna wonders if there are even enough students to continue. That is, the students here are expected to eventually go on to enter the Magic Guild; if there aren't enough students, then eventually there may not be enough people in the Guild. Alex recalls something that Jessica and Nash were talking about earlier when they crossed to the mainland... They were talking about meetings between the Magic Guild and the Priesthood, regarding the decline of magic power in the world. Perhaps the smaller numbers of students in Vane is related to that?

[89] The next morning, Nash comes to take Alex. He explains that only Alex will be able to come with him; Luna and Nall need to wait there.

 

Nall: Hey, why can't we come?
Nash: Please. Do you really think that I can just bring a cat into the Magic Library?
Nall: I'm not a cat!!
Nash: Well, same thing.

Luna says she doesn't mind, and asks Nall to just bear with them. She says they'll wait here for Alex to return, and then Nash and Alex leave for the library. Luna sees them off from the balcony of the room.

The Magic Library is even bigger than Alex could have imagined. It's filled wall-to-wall with books, on shelves three times Alex's height. Nash explains that not only is almost any kind of information to be found here--they also have several artifacts in the building as well.

 

Nash: For instance, there's 'Althena's Mirror', which can reflect the true form of whatever is before it, and--
Alex: What!? You mean the mirror that was sealed in the abandoned city of Iria!? It's real?
Nash: What? Of course it's real! According to the legends, once every 29 days, it still reflects the form of the Crimson Queen Palemia.

[93] It's in a room below the library; they don't have time to waste seeing it, though. Alex is curious about another artifact, however...

 

Alex: Say, do you think that Dyne's Sword is here?
Nash: Dyne's Sword?
Alex: Yeah. Actually, Dyne's Sword is supposed to be in a stone on a hill in Burg. Or so everyone says. But, there's not really any proof of it. The sword is pretty worn out, and...
Nash: Hah! That's obviously a fake! When Dyne died, on his final journey, Master Ghaleon was with him. He would've definitely kept the sword in Vane. The two of them were close friends, after all!

Anyway, it's a moot point. Nash says to even see those artifacts, you'd have to be in the Magic Guild. And, Alex would probably have to work a million times harder for that. Alex tries to overlook Nash's condescending implication.

[95] Moving on, then, they begin their research by looking for information about the Dragonmasters. Alex knows that the story of Dyne's encounters with the Red and Black Dragons is in bards' tales, but nothing specific is said about the location. Nash says that such information has been recorded: the White Dragon in the Weird Woods [gooto mori] (near Burg), the Red Dragon in the Marius Zone Volcano [mariusu kazan], the Blue Dragon in the underwater cave of Laprol Island [ropurooru tou], and the Black Dragon in the ancient ruins hidden by the Great Temzian Waterfall [temujian daibakufu]. The only one Nash could confirm was the location of the White Dragon; the remaining dragons, it seems, have moved from their original locations, and there hasn't been any new information regarding them.

Nash already checked, and thinks it's pointless for Alex to continue, but will still research the remaining Dragons' locations with him--per Ghaleon's orders. Alex suggests that they look for information about the other, previous Dragonmasters, so they might be able to figure out where the remaining three Dragons have gone.

It's a difficult task, but having grown up on a farm, Alex is no stranger to hard work.

[97] Meanwhile, Luna and Nall are waiting for Alex back in the room. Luna tries to comfort Nall, saying that they just need to hold on for a while longer. Alex will be back soon. They continue to wait, even past the time when Alex and Luna went to bed the previous night, and Alex still isn't there. Luna starts thinking back on meeting Ghaleon in the garden the previous day, but she still doesn't go out that night. Perhaps, after traveling all this time, it might be nice to take a rest in Vane for a while...

[99] Back to the library... Alex supposes that where the Dragons have gone would have to relate to their characteristics. The Red Dragon would be at a volcano, the Blue Dragon in a sea or lake, and the White Dragon in a cold place--so it would seem based on the older Dragonmasters' journeys. Nash adds that the Black Dragon seems to be in ancient ruins and worn-out places in the middle of forests.

 

Nash: The professors here theorize that the Dragons are living creatures created from the condensation of the four magical forces on which this world is based.
Alex: What!? The Dragons are made of magic!?

It made sense now that Alex thought about it. Magic is what supports life on this world. The Dragonmaster is the strongest magic warrior who protects this world. That would be why he's called the Dragonmaster. Anyway, Alex supposes, then, that the Black Dragon's location should be related to the magic it's created from. Nash offers up a few possible locations related to how the Black Dragon's power over earth (ground, not the planet), such as the Temzian Waterfall and the Garia Rift [garia daichikou]--places where the see is agitated by the power of the earth. They decide to resarch more along that line the next day.

[101] On the way back...

Nash: Oh, she's still awake.

Sure enough, Nash points out the flickering light on the balcony of Alex and Luna's room. Alex hadn't even thought about Luna waiting for him until just now. If the library hadn't closed for the night, Alex might have completely forgotten about her. Nash retires for the night and Alex returns to his room.

Alex: (Sorry, Luna...)

Chapter 6: Each and Every Thought

[102] Alex's research at the library continued for many more days, continuing from the premise of the Four Dragons' locations being related to the magic which created them. And, he continued to come back to the room late each night. Once he did make a promise to come back in time for dinner, but he was only able to keep that promise the following evening. Every night he just came back and, tired from research, went straight to bed. Luna continued to put aside her own desires to support Alex's dream. One day, when Alex was gone, Nall was so bored that he decided to look around Vane himself. Luna thought she might go for a walk herself--perhaps she would encounter Ghaleon again, like the other day in the garden.

Alex's research was continuing at a very slow pace. He continued to look through old books and maps to find more about the magic that sustained Lunar: magic itself was given to people by the Goddess Althena, he found, and the Magic Guild manages its flow. Meanwhile, Nash had gotten into the habit of taking Alex to the library, then disappearing somewhere to do his own work.

[106] Alex decided to call it a day and put his books down early for once. Perhaps he would check on Luna. Alex left the library and started heading back, thinking over what he knew so far: Everyone has some magic power given to them by Althena. But the Vile Tribe... they were sealed away by Althena, so why did they now have such strong magic power? The Frontier, where the Blue Star doesn't shine, isn't supposed to have any magic power in it. Perhaps it has something to do with the decline of magic power that Jessica and Nash were talking about...

While in thought, Alex heard a song. Luna's song... The familiar song that they always used to play together. She wasn't alone, either; Alex heard someone playing music to Luna's voice. It was the same song, but he played it even better than Alex could on his ocarina. He followed the music, and saw Luna in a park, near a fountain. With her was none other than Ghaleon. But, he was dressed informally, and seemed much unlike he did when they first met him at the Guild.

[112] Was Luna doing this every day? Alex felt a little guilty. He was in the library most of the time, so he could hardly blame her. Luna finally looked up to see him, and abruptly stopped singing. A moment later, Ghaleon also stopped playing.

Luna is a bit embarassed, but she and Ghaleon both invite Alex to sit down with them. Luna says that Nall was bored and left, so she decided to go for a walk. Ghaleon also comments on Luna's singing, and on how well Alex must play the ocarina. In all, he looks and speaks very much unlike he was back at the Guild. He's even smiling.

[116] So, Ghaleon asks how Alex's research has been going. Alex explains what they've found so far, including the line of reasoning involving the magic that is the basis of the Four Dragons. Ghaleon thinks for a moment, then responds.

 

Ghaleon: Magic... is the power that allows people to live on this star. And, the power of their thoughts is the original form of such power.
Alex: Their... thoughts?
Ghaleon: Yes. Everyone has limitless potential within them. But, most never fully realize their power. If we do not believe in ourselves, then we cannot call forth that power that lies dormant within us. And so we would not know the true meaning of such power.
(Ghaleon's eyes narrowed.)
Ghaleon: That is why people must be led, they must be shown the correct path...

Ghaleon's smile disappeared upon saying the last line.

Ghaleon then proposes that Alex and Luna could join the Magic Guild, perhaps then they could discover the power that lies within them. Alex and Luna politely decline. Ghaleon nods, then excuses himself and begins to leave.

[118] Before Ghaleon leaves, Alex suddenly remembers something he needed to ask. He stops Ghaleon before he crosses the bridge out of the park, and asks after Mia. Ghaleon responds, in his usual Premier of the Guild manner.

 

Ghaleon: That matter is over.
Alex: Over? What do you mean?
Ghaleon: This morning, Mia spoke with Lemia and I. She decided to stop her selfish pursuits and swore to return to her studies to become the next leader of the Magic Guild. You have no reason to worry about her any longer.
Alex: I see. But...
Ghaleon: Please excuse me. I must leave now.

[119] Back in the room, Luna and Alex are waiting for Nall, who still hasn't returned. By dinnertime, he's still not back--which is strange, since Nall is the kind who always has an appetite, even if the Vile Tribe was attacking and the world was about to end. When Alex finally gets up to go look for him, he opens the door and sees Nall right there. Not only that, but he's brought a friend: Mia Ausa.

Mia's come here with Nall, trying to remain unnoticed by other people around Vane. Luna and Alex invite her in. Along with Nall, Mia is carrying a set of old books. The covers are worn, and some of the letters Alex can't even read--although they look like something he's seen before. Mia explains that these books were deep in the Magic Library, and she just happened to come across them. They talk about Althena and the Four Dragons; based on this, Alex should even be able to find out the location of the remaining three dragons he has yet to visit.

[123] Mia gets up to leave, but Luna asks her to stay for a while. They talk for a while. Nall explains that when he went to explore Vane, he happened to find Mia's room and stayed there until dinner. Mia still remembered Alex and the others, and had some books that she thought Alex would find useful in his journey, but until Nall arrived she had no way of knowing where Alex was staying.

Alex then explains how they met Ghaleon earlier that day, and what he said regarding Mia. Mia says that she's wanted to go on that journey for a while, but wasn't able to get the time until recently; but, she has decided to remain in Vane, as Ghaleon said. She still asks Alex about his adventures, and he obliges, telling Mia about everything that's happened since they left Burg--including their encounter with Laike.

 

Mia: That person... Laike... why did he say he was traveling?
Alex: He smiled at us and said, So that today is unlike yesterday, and tomorrow will be unlike today.

Alex says there's no reason Mia couldn't join them, just like Kyle, Jessica, and Nash--they're all friends now. It would be just like when Dyne met Ghaleon, Lemia, and Mel, long ago. Mia says that her mother, Lemia, went on that journey when she was about Mia's age. After some encouragement from Alex and Luna, Mia decides that she will go and speak with her mother again--she might understand.

[128] After Mia leaves, Luna looks at the book she's left on the desk, the one with unfamiliar characters. Her eyes followed those characters, and she began to speak:

 

Luna: The Black Dragon controls the earth. That power is given in the name of Althena, and without an amythyst crest...
Alex: Luna, you can read this!?
Luna: Yes... but I don't understand why...

Now Alex remembered where he saw those characters: the inscription at the spring, near the White Dragon's Shrine. Only Luna was able to read the characters on the stone that time. Alex realizes that, now, they'll be able to learn where the remaining Dragons are and continue their journey soon. But while he's happy, Luna is more uneasy and confused than anything.

[129] That night, Luna had that nightmare again. Light and darkness were all around her; and "she" was in the middle of it all. She was on a throne, and magic power flowed around and into her. Meanwhile, two people below her were fighting. "She" knew what they were fighting about, but Luna did not understand. Who was "she"? Who was the "real" Luna? The world was crumbling around her, fading into a sea of chaos. For a new rebirth. To be reborn in the glimmer of new light. And then...

[132] Luna woke up. The hardness of the bed let her know she was no longer in her dream. In her dream, she knew who the people fighting were; but now, she had no idea. She decided to get some fresh air and so stepped out onto the balcony, sitting on the stone handrail. She looked up at the Blue Star in the sky: the same Blue Star she would look at with Alex in Burg. It always looked the same. Even if Alex becomes a Dragonmaster, or if thousands of years pass, it would still look the same. She starts thinking back to the dream, and began to feel the same chill she felt within that nightmare. She closed her eyes, and lost her balance.

Alex: Luna!

Alex reaches out and takes her, before she falls. Alex is on the adjacent balcony. Luna says she couldn't sleep and needed some air; she must have gotten dizzy. Alex says much the same; he couldn't sleep on account of thinking about finding the remaining Dragons soon.

 

Alex: I wasn't able to sleep either. Thanks to you, now we can find where the other Dragons are located.
Luna: But, it doesn't seem right... Why was I able to read those characters? I don't understand it...
Alex: It's definitely right. I know it. Luna, you'll be the one to guide us there. That's why--
Luna: But why!? Why did I know it!? I'm just an ordinary girl; there's no reason for me to know any of this. An ordinary... girl...
Alex: Luna...
(Alex leaps over from the adjacent room's balcony onto their own.)
Alex: Luna, I think you should be happy that such magic power lies inside of you...
Luna: Magic power?
Alex: Yeah. Remember what Ghaleon said? Everyone has magic power within them. It's just not everyone is able to realize it.

[138] Alex attributes Luna's abilities to latent magic within her. Luna more or less agrees, and finally smiles again, but the answer doesn't quite satisfy her. She looks up at the Blue Star, and then turns back to Alex.

 

Luna: Alex, why do you want to become Dragonmaster? Is it because you want to be like Dyne? Because you want to go on an adventure? Because you want to be stronger?
Alex: Luna? Why are you asking that all of a sudden?
Luna: Please. Just answer me, Alex.
Alex: I...
(Alex remembers the last time he heard that question... The White Dragon asked him the same thing when he took trial.)
Luna: What is it, Alex?
Alex: Oh, I was just thinking about the answer again... I suppose I don't really understand why I want to become Dragonmaster...
Luna: Is it that, or... can you not tell me?
Alex: No, not that. Whenever I try to put it into words, all sorts of thoughts come to mind, and I can't say exactly what they are...
(Alex recalled a vague memory from long ago. A flickering flame. A traveler, and holding onto his outstretched finger.)
Alex: ...It's just, long ago, I feel like I made a promise. A promise to become Dragonmaster...
Luna: A promise? To whom?
Alex: ...I don't know. I used to think it was just a figment of my memory... But, I definitely feel as if I made that promise, to become Dragonmaster, and to protect...
Luna: Protect? Protect what?
Alex: Well...
(Alex looked at Luna and his cheeks turned red.)
Alex: I... don't recall.

[142] Luna then comments on how much Alex has changed since they've left Burg. He used to only dream of adventure, and now he's finally working towards those dreams. But, Luna wonders what she'll eventually become herself... It's not to do with the latent magic power that let her read those characters, but more to do with her concern about the dream she's been having. Alex reassures her that, no matter what, she'll always be the same Luna that Alex knows.

Alex: That's why we'll always be together on this journey. Whatever strange things may happen, whatever wonderful things may happen, I'll always be with you. I... I need you, Luna.

Alex and Luna embraced each other. The uneasiness and anxiety from before faded away. In the light of the Blue Star, their two shadows became one as they kissed.

And then... a scream shook the ground.

"Wh... what was that!?"

[145] Alex and Luna looked around. The sound came from Vane's central plaza. Now that they're listening, it sounds like there are a lot of people gathered there. It could be a festival, or something else. They decide to go check it out.

Alex, Luna, and the still-sleepy Nall arrive at the plaza. Many people are gathered, including guards of the Magic Guild. At the center of the plaza, surrounded by guards, is a captured prisoner who is bound by rope: Kyle.

Among the people gathered, they also see the Vane Elite Trio they encountered before entering Vane: Gazelle, Shumile, and Arno. They also see Nash, standing close to both Ghaleon and Lemia. (This is the first time Alex has seen Lemia in person; she looked the same age as his mother, but had a strong resemblance to Mia.)

"What's Kyle doing there?! Why is he tied up?"

"And why is Nash just standing around?"

[150] Lemia addresses the crowd.

"Until now, Governor Mel has been unable to capture the elusive pirate Kyle. But now, thanks to Nash here, we have now accomplished that very task. Through Nash's help, we learned the location of the despised pirate, and our magicians easily took him prisoner."

Nash stepped out from behind Ghaleon and looked around for a moment. As soon as he saw Alex, he ducked back behind Ghaleon. Lemia continues.

 

Lemia: Now on the subject of the legendary Vile Tribe, who was banished to the Frontier by Althena. There has been talk that they have appeared among us once again, as everyone knows. There have also been reports of the Vile Tribe ship, the Leviathan, having attacked ships and people on the seas. And, some have mentioned the Magic Emperor as well... But, the question remains: is this the real Vile Tribe?
Nall: What are you talking about? Of course it's the Vile Tribe! Right, Alex?
Alex: Nall, quiet!

Lemia continues. She claims that the Vile Tribe has not broken free of its confinement; the ones behind the attacks are only using the name of the Vile Tribe. And, what's more, the one who is really behind the ferocious attacks is none other than Kyle. Lemia adds one final comment:

"The Pirate Kyle will be executed at sunrise tomorrow."

Before Alex and Nall can protest, Ghaleon declares that Lemia is the Leader of the Magic Guild, and as such, her decision is absolute. Kyle will be placed under guard until sunrise. Lemia, Ghaleon, and several guards then leave; several other guards, along with Gazelle's trio, remain near Kyle.

And then there was Nash.

[154] Nash approaches them. Alex, and especially Nall, are upset. Nash tries to explain that he didn't know what was going to happen: all he meant to do was give a more detailed account of what happened with the Vile Tribe. Alex says that there must be some misunderstanding: Nash knows as well as anyone that Kyle has nothing to do with the Vile Tribe attacks (apart from stopping them, at least). Nash says it's useless; as Ghaleon said, Lemia's decision is absolute. Nash tries to leave; Alex grabs his arm.

 

Alex: Nash, wait!
Nash: Let go of me! It's not my fault!
(Nash's face flushed.)
Nash: It's not my fault...
(He broke away and ran back to the Guild.)
Nall: Why are you running? You're just going to let this happen!?
Alex: No, Nash looks like he's really upset...

Since there doesn't seem to be any point trying to meet with Ghaleon, Alex decides to do the next-best thing: talk with Mia. He asks Nall to guide them to where Mia lives--using back-routes through the forest so they don't get noticed.

[158] Mia apologizes for what's happened. For some reason, her mother has been acting strange lately, and she hasn't been able to really speak with her--and if Mia can't even get an audience with Lemia (or Ghaleon), then there's really no chance for Alex and the others. Nall suggests that Alex could just free Kyle himself; Gazelle and the others are no match for them. But Alex doesn't like that idea: this situation was borne out of a misunderstanding, and it wouldn't be right to let anyone get hurt as a result.

Mia then has one idea... Another way to get to the central plaza: there are hidden passages in underground Vane, secret passageways that she, as the next Guildmistress, knows about. Mia then offers to guide them--

"No, Lady Mia!"

[162] A voice spoke up from the darkness... It's Nash. He was worried when he didn't see Mia at the gathering in the plaza, and so he came to Mia's room to check on her. Ignoring Alex, he continues to speak with Mia. He asks her to reconsider her offer to help; if Lemia found out, then it wouldn't matter that Mia's her daughter.

 

Mia: But Nash, do you think it's all right to let an innocent man be executed?
Nash: I... I...
Mia: You're only thinking of the honor of the Guild, aren't you?
Nash: No, that's not...
Mia: Well... Mother is wrong. She's ignoring the truth and declared someone a criminal. If that continues, then who will ever put faith in the Magic Guild? I cannot allow bad things to be done in the name of Lemia Ausa, I cannot allow that to be part of Vane's history. Even if she is Mother...

There's a pause, and then Nash says that Mia's become strong--though Mia insists that she has "only a bit of courage". Mia's been listening to Alex and Luna describe their adventure, and she likes what the man named Laike said about the purpose of his journey: so that today is unlike yesterday. Mia says that she had considered giving up her intentions to become Dragonmaster; but, Vane needs her. Even though she's weak, and only has a bit of courage...

Mia: From yesterday to today, and today to tomorrow. I'll take on this journey, this adventure, one day at a time. And that little bit of courage will let me continue on to the next day.

[166] Nash decides: he's going to help Mia. He says this is partly his fault (Nall: It's all his fault!), but he never intended on anything bad to happen when he mentioned Kyle to the others in the Guild. Mia believes him.

Nash pledges to help Mia no matter what. He may not be of much use, but he'll do whatever he can. And as they're both aiming to become Dragonmaster, there's no reason they shouldn't journey together. (Strange that the ever-arrogant Nash is being so humble all of a sudden.)

Mia thanks him, and takes his hand. Nash's face flushes a deep red; Mia sees this and lets go.

 

Mia: Truthfully, I'm a little worried... You don't seem to be very comfortable around me.
Nash: Oh, no, that's not true at all, Lady Mia!
Mia: Stop calling me that. If you're going to be my friend, traveling with me, then pleas just call me 'Mia'.
Nash: What!? I can't do that!
Mia: Please, Nash.
(Nash paused for a moment.)
Nash: ...M... M... M... M...

Nash tries and tries, but he can't bring himself to say "Mia" instead of "Lady Mia".

Anyway, it's not that long before sunrise--perhaps just another hour--and so they decide to hurry onward to save Kyle. Mia leads the way: they're going to the legendary Silver Spire. As Mia recalls, there is an ancient transmission ring there...

[171] There were two towers at the Magic Guild of Vane: the Silver Spire and the Crystal Spire. Both were the setting of many legends about the Dragonmasters of old. But, in actuality, very few people had ever ventured inside either. Mia guided them through the Guild and back outside to the entrance of the Silver Spire. While the rest of the buildings in Vane were constructed of red brick, the Silver Spire was made from brilliant white stone, as polished and smooth as a mirror. In front of the tower was a statue of Althena.

Mia: I am Mia Ausa, the daughter of Guildmistress Lemia Ausa. I ask that you please open this door.

[175] The statue glowed, and the door opened. As they entered, Alex recalled what he knew about the towers. Now, the Crystal Spire, much was said about it in the stories of the old Dragonmasters. It's said that the the spire has been the subject of bards' tales since the days when Vane was first founded. It's where Cyclone Zeon saved Milenia, for instance. But, by comparison, very little has been said about the Silver Spire. During the adventures of Dragonmaster Chloe, the Silver Spire is mentioned, yet nothing is said of what lies inside the tower.

As they continue walking inside the Silver Spire, Alex and the others (except for Nash and Mia) get a strange feeling about the place, like they're inside the belly of a beast. Anyway, that aside, they finally reach another transport pad, much like the one at the entrance to Vane, only smaller. Mia explains that this transport pad will take them to underground Vane. They step on, close their eyes, and Mia says the incantation to activate the transporter.

[178] When they open their eyes, they're standing in a cave. It's about two meters high, and the passageway is just wide enough for five or six people to stand beside one another. And... the walls were glowing. The rocks on each side are iridescent, and emit enough light to find one's way without a torch. Mia and Nash lead the way through the cave, with Alex and the rest behind them.

While walking, Mia turns to Nash, who is walking a few paces behind her.

 

Mia: Nash... Thank you for coming with me. I know that you dislike me, so I'm really happy that--
Nash: What!? What do you mean!? There's no way that I dislike you!
Mia: But... you always keep your distance from me... And, you still call me 'Lady' Mia. We're friends now, so you don't need to do that, right?
Nash: But, but you're the next Leader of the Magic Guild...
Mia: I don't think that matters...

Nash thinks to himself: Mia doesn't understand; she's Lemia's daughter, and will one day be the Leader of the Guild--that's why he can't act familiar with her. Mia continues speaking, saying that she might be the next Leader of the Magic Guild, but there's no reason to be so hesitant--even people like Gazelle have more magic power than she does. Nash denies this strongly, saying that Mia's abilities are great.

 

Nash: Lady Mia, I'm not trying to keep my distance from you. In truth, the reason it seems that way is because I...
(Nash hesitates...)
Luna: Mia, I think what Nash wants to say is that he l--
Nash: Luna, stop, please. This is something I wish to say.
(Nash hesitates for even longer, thinking back to Mia's position in the Guild. But, what they're doing right now is dangerous; if Lemia were to find out, they'd be imprisoned or even worse. He may not get another chance to say this, so...)
Nash: Lady Mia... I first met you when I was taking the entrance exam for the Magic Guild. And I knew, since then, I've... I... I li--
Alex: Nash, quiet! Someone's coming!

[184] Up ahead, the path forked in two. On the right side, the lights were flickering and a shadow was approaching. No one else is supposed to be able to come down into these caves, says Mia. Alex draws his sword and tells the others to stay back while he goes on ahead.

 

Alex: Who's th--
???: Who's there!?
(...)
Alex: Jessica!? What in the world are you doing here?
Jessica: I might ask you the same thing!
Mia: Jessica? Is that you?
Jessica: Mia! Oh it's been forever!

[186] It's a good reunion. Jessica and Mia reunite, and the others (except Nash) are all happy to see her again. Jessica, as expected, came here to rescue Kyle once she heard what had happened. But that leaves the question of how she got here--Mia says that no one else is supposed to know about this place. Well, Jessica explains that the person who told her the news about Kyle also knew about the back-entrance to Vane. He showed her the way to another transport pad that would take her here, to underground Vane, and from there she could enter Vane itself unnoticed.

 

Nash: That's ridiculous. How could some person on the ground know more than even I do about Vane? Was he another magician from the Guild?
Jessica: He didn't look like a magician... He was this strange older man with a thick beard; he looked like a traveler. His name was--
Alex: Laike! That's Laike!
Jessica: Yeah! You know him, Alex?

Is there anyone that guy doesn't run into?

All that aside, they explain to Jessica that Kyle will be executed at sunrise unless they help. So, Mia sets out a new plan: they'll go to the transport pad that will take them to Vane's central plaza. Once there, they'll free Kyle, go back to the Vane underground, and break the transport pad on this side (since once the others know that there's a transporter underneath the plaza, they'll just follow suit). If Lemia then takes the Silver Spire to get to them, they'll still have enough time to hide. And now, thanks to Jessica, they also have an escape route to get out of the Vane altogether afterwards, directly from the caves.

It's a plan. They continue onwards through the caves.

 

Mia: Oh, Nash... earlier, before Jessica interrupted us, you were saying something?
Nash: Oh, um... well... (oh I can't tell her now...) It was nothing, sorry. Ah hah...
Mia: Oh... I see...

[191] Meanwhile, on the surface, Kyle is still tied up. He starts thinking over his life. Not in the same sense as someone awaiting an execution, but more in the sense of someone reflecting on the past--and more specifically, how he wound up here. He figures he's always been sort of a bad guy, or at least always on the bad side of Meribia and people like Master Mel.

He remembers back to a particular part of his life... when he knew a guy named Jessie. Jessie was two years younger than him, and when he first met him, he wasn't even sure if he was really a guy--he couldn't really use a weapon, and wasn't all that strong. But, he was quick and agile, and was bright--both qualities that he needed. Before long, Jessie was one of his comrades.

One day, he was at a bar with Jessie, talking about his dreams. One day, he wants to get a ship, a ship as big as the ones Mel has. And then, he'll go to the ends of the world on an adventure. Jessie liked the sound of this...

 

Kyle: Yeah! An adventure! I've been thinking about it... This world is big, and there's tons of places people don't know about it. I want it all... No, no, on second thought, I wouldn't want to be a king or anything--that'd get boring. No, I want to see things that other people can't see, hear the things that other people can't hear. And then, wherever you go, people will say that I, Kyle, am the best in the world!
Jessie: Whoa... Hey, this adventure, would you take me along, too?
Kyle: Don't be stupid! Of course! We'll go to the farthest reaches of the sea! You're my... my com... what's the word?
Jessie: Comrade?
Kyle: Yeah! Comrade!

[195] The only problem is that Kyle doesn't have much money. Jessie, though, has an idea... She knows how to sneak into Master Mel's own mansion, and there they'll be able to get enough money for this adventure Kyle wants. Over the next few days, Jessie teaches Kyle the back entrance to the mansion, during what times and over what areas the guards are on watch, and how to enter the mansion. Kyle eventually knew the way so well that he decided to go to the mansion one day earlier than they'd planned, alone.

[198] Under cover of midnight, Kyle snuck into the mansion garden. He waited for the Blue Star to go behind the clouds and entered through a window. This was supposed to be the room of Mel's daughter--but Jessie was there! He was asleep in the bed; Kyle pulled back the covers, felt 'his' chest and discovered that Jessie the boy was, in fact, Jessica the girl, the only daughter of Mel de Alkirk.

Ever since that day, Mel's had it out for Kyle. Nevertheless, he got closer to Jessica, swearing that she'd never let anyone make her cry.

[200] The sun was starting to come up. Kyle looked out across Vane. He was tied up in a tree, so he had a higher vantage point of the city. One thing was odd, though: the layout of the plaza looked a lot like a scaled-up version of the transport pads that Jessica showed him. In fact, between the buildings, stones, garden, the two towers, and the circular shape of Vane's surgace, the entire city was almost designed like one large transporter. He could also see other smaller pads throughout the rest of the city.

He then noticed one of the nearby areas start to glow. When the light settled, Alex and Jessica were there. They were on the opposite side of where Gazelle and the other guards were keeping watch. They keep quiet, and Alex signals for them to approach. But, before they can get to the rope, the wind blows and Alex's hair brushes up against Nall's nose.

 

Nall: Ahh... ah....
Everyone: !!!
Nall: Ah-CHOO!!!

[204] Gazelle and the others are alerted to their presence. No time left, Alex quickly cuts the ropes keeping Kyle suspended. He drops to the ground. Alex tells Mia to activate the transport. He draws his sword while Mia starts the incantations. But, just when the light flashes, Gazelle realizes what's going on and unleashes a lightning attack on the ground. The transport is interrupted, their escape route is cut off, and they're stuck in the plaza.

[208] Just when it couldn't get any worse, Lemia and Ghaleon arrive at the plaza. Lemia is furious; Mia shouldn't expect any special treatment just because she's her daughter--they're all traitors to the Magic Guild. Lemia orders Ghaleon to capture them. Alex tries to plead with him, but Ghaleon repeats what he said earlier: the Vile Tribe could not have escaped the Frontier, as long as Althena is around--and so Kyle is the only one who could be behind the attacks.

Ghaleon asks them to stand down; Alex says they can't, unless they'll stay the execution. That's not possible, says Ghaleon.

Meanwhile, Jessica tries to free Kyle from the ropes still binding him; unfortunately, they're magic, so it's a bit tricky. Despite Kyle's protest, Jessica heals him first, and then gets to work on undoing his binds.

 

Jessica: You idiot! I'll always help you out. That's why I became a priestess.
Kyle: ...You? A priestess?
Jessica: We'll go to the farthest reaches of the sea, right? I could be useful.
Kyle: You... you still remember the promise I made back when we were kids...
Jessica: Of course!

Back to Nash, Mia, and Alex... Nash is about to cave in and give up, but Mia stands her ground and convinces Nash to stand with them. Ghaleon orders the Vane Elite Trio--Gazelle, Arno, and Shumile--to apprehend them. Nall and Luna stand back, and the showdown begins...

[214] The Vane Elite Trio start their incanations. Alex draws his sword while Nash and Mia stand on either side of him, starting their incantations as well. Gazelle unleashes a wind attack at Nash; Nash fires a ball of lightning simultaneously, which nullifies Gazelle's attack. Arno and Shumile both unleash their own spells at Mia--Arno with fire, and Shumile with ice. Mia raises a ball of fire in one hand, and a lance of ice in the other, hurling both at Arno and Shumile's spells. Fire swallows ice, and ice swallows fire, and all the spells are snuffed out, leaving only steam.

Before Gazelle and his trio have time to recover, Alex kicks off the ground and goes flying at the three magicians. He strikes each of them in succession with the hilt of his sword, before they have a chance to recover from their spells or put up a defense. The Vane Elite Trio falls unconscious to the ground. (Kyle, watching the whole thing, is pretty impressed with this, at that.)

[216] Ghaleon steps forward. Alex pleads with him to stop, but he declines. The look in his face, Alex notices, is not what he'd expect in one of the Four Heroes--it was cold, harsh, and very much unlike the look in Mel's eyes when he was agitated. At that thought, he remembered Laike--he wasn't one of the Four Heroes, no, but he did possess inner strength. And, he thought of Dragonmaster Dyne. What would Dyne do, when faced with an unbeatable opponent? Alex wasn't sure; but he did know one thing: Dyne wouldn't allow himself to make a decision that he would only regret later.

 

Alex: I will never back down from doing what is right!
Ghaleon: Who are you to say so readily what is right, and what is wrong?
Alex: Protecting the life of my friends. That I know is right!
Ghaleon: Hm.
Jessica: Hah! Got it, Kyle!

Jessica finally frees Kyle. Wasting no time, he gets up and draws several knives from his boot, throwing them at Ghaleon. Ghaleon waves his hand and a torrent of black wind rushes up, knocking the knives into the ground. The wind then rushes over Jessica, Kyle, Luna, Nall, Nash, and Mia. Everyone drops to the ground, unconscious, leaving only Alex.

[221] Alex realizes he has no other choice, and so he attacks Ghaleon--each time he rushes forward, Ghaleon drives him back, and Alex tries again and again and again.

Ghaleon: The power of one's thoughts is the original form of magic power. Everyone has limitless potential within them. But, most never fully realize their power.

Ghaleon repeated the words he said, back in the garden.

Ghaleon: If we do not believe in ourselves, then we cannot call forth that power that lies dormant within us. And so we would not know the true meaning of such power...

[226] Alex took heed of those words. He believed in himself. He believed in protecting those important to him. He attacked again, but this time with all his strength and his belief. And this time, when he leapt at Ghaleon, light surrounded him with the sound of an explosion. Yet, Ghaleon raised his hand and blocked Alex with another blast of black wind, knocking Alex back on the ground, unconscious.

Lemia congratulates Ghaleon on a job well done; she says in return for opposing the Guild, they will all be executed along with Kyle--including her daughter, Mia. Ghaleon stops her there. When Lemia demands to know why Ghaleon opposes her, he ignores her and walks back to the Magic Guild. Enraged, Lemia decides to execute them herself. She raises her staff and gathers up a ferocious blue-white flame. Just before she hurls it at Alex and the others lying on the ground, Luna's fingers slightly move. She calls Alex's name, and then, a silver light envelops Luna and Alex.

Lemia stops. The silver light grows to envelop the rest of Alex's friends on the ground. It continues to grow larger, and larger. Ghaleon sees this and, looking closer, he notices that the light seems to be emanating from both Luna and the white cat she's holding in her arms. Soon, the silver light grows to envelop all of Vane; if someone had a birds-eye view of the city, it would look as if all of Vane was one giant transport pad about to be activated. At last, Luna, Alex, and their friends all disappear, the light fades, and Vane returns to normal. Lemia is shocked; Ghaleon... only smiles.

[231] Alex was dreaming. He was on a hill, with a man at the top. He wasn't sure how, but he knew the man was Dragonmaster Dyne. He ran up the hill, but no matter how much he ran, he didn't get any closer to the top. He called out to Dyne, but Dyne didn't respond and started walking away. "Stop, Dyne! There's so much I want to ask you!"

When Alex woke up, he was in a dark place, with Luna and Nall around him. Jessica, Kyle, Nash, and Mia were also all there. Since Alex was the last one conscious, Nash demands to know what happened to them; Alex has no more idea than Nash, though. Anyway, according to Nash and Mia, they appear to have been transported to the Heart of Vane. Alex feels the ground around him and notices that it's made of the same glowing rock material as the walls of the cave when they were underground Vane not too long ago.

[236] They examine their surroundings. The first thing they notice nearby is a large green crystal. So large that they can even see a person inside!

(No, it's not what you're thinking. You're about a thousand years too early.)

The person is a woman, about the age of Alex's mother. Judging by her clothes, she looked like the wife of a Saith fisherman. She wasn't the only one around, though... Not ten feet away was another crystal, with a man who looked like a merchant inside. On the opposite side whas another crystal, this time with a child within. And ten feet away was another, and another, and another, on both sides of the cavern hallway. Many had other people in them, silent and still; many others were still empty. To Alex, they reminded him of insects trapped in amber. The hallway itself led into an enormous opening, and there they saw tens of thousands--no, hundreds of thousands of other crystals all around the walls. And in the center were four giant crystals, each one almost the size of one of the dorm buildings in Vane.

Mia: Mother has told me about this... Long ago, in part of the bedrock beneath Vane, there was a giant, hollow cave. And so, crystals were lined up inside to form the shape of a large transport circle.

Now it made sense. The arrangement of the crystals were the same as the arrangement of stones around the transport pads that they've seen before, including the four giant ones at the center. Still unsure how or why they ended up here, the group decides to descend down into the opening, towards the four giant crystals at the center, to investigate. Kyle stays at the front with Nash and Mia, while the others follow behind.

 

Alex: Do you think the people in these crystals are still alive? Or are they already... dead?
Luna: I feel that they're all in a deep sleep. That sleep is so deep that it's as if they're at the border between life and death.
Alex: ...Luna?
Luna: What? Oh, sorry, I meant to say... that's just the impression I get.

[241] They all continue a little bit further, when Mia suddenly stops.

 

Nash: Mia, what's wrong!?
Jessica: You look like you've just seen a ghost!
(The rest of them look up at the crystal in front of them)
Alex: What!? What is this!?

In front of them, silent, trapped in another crystal, was none other than the Leader of the Magic Guild of Vane, Lemia Ausa.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Afterword:

[245] Kei Shigema is back. He apologizes for two things this time: first for making his fans wait so long, and second for extending the story to another, fourth volume. But, he is quite encouraged by how well the recently-released manga by Akari Funato has been received--it's incresed his writing power by 8,823!

Anyway, Shigema talks a bit about all the "pretty boys" of the Lunar series. Ghaleon is of course at the top of the list; but Kyle and Nash are supposed to be the handsome type, too. Laike is... well, charming, but he's got a bit of a scary face.

One interesting thing he mentions... A friend of his recently went to a comic convention and picked up some Lunar doujinshi--fourteen in all! He also mentioned seeing two girls cosplayed as Luna and Jessica. Shigema says he would've liked to have seen all that for himself.

Anyway, look forward to the fourth and final volume of the Lunar: Silver Star Story novelization. Shigema signs off (dated 1998, running through the year at least at fifty percent! ... ???).



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