Arcana Magi Zero + Pure - c.15

by H-M Brown

      The highway outside the valley was lined up with traffic at a complete stop. At the junction to the connecting highway, the military was directing the traffic onto the exit sending them further away from the city. There were no vehicles traveling in the opposite direction. Instead construction vehicles on the opposite side of the highway drove past the security checkpoint along side military truck carrying medics. The public watched on in their vehicles. A whistle blew and the traffic advanced onto the exit.
      At entrance to the Shrine of Four Mythic Beasts, pallbearers carried a casket downstairs. They stood before two rows. On side was the Society and law enforcement. Across from them were the Elders from their respective Clans. Ren and Nemo waited at the end. The pallbearers arrived at the hearse and placed the casket on the gurney. They stepped back and Alysia and Megumi walked past Nemo, Arturo watching them from the sidewalk. They were dressed in their costumes and each held bouquet of flowers.
      As Megumi placed her hand on the casket, Alysia growled. “I'm gonna miss you Oldie.”
      “Thank you Madam Mayweather.” Megumi bowed and Alysia placed the flowers on the casket. “For everything.”
      “Thank you.” Alysia bowed. “I'll remember everything you taught me. I'm going to miss hearing you call me Shorty.”
      As Alysia struggled to hold back her tears, Megumi placed her hand on the casket. “You were a great teacher. Be safe going home.”
      As the pallbearers placed the casket into the hearse Alysia curled hand in a fist and yelled. “You left us stranded here! How we are getting home?!”
      Megumi tapped Alysia's head with her finger, and she noticed Alysia chuckled alittle, but started to break down. She placed her arms over Alysia's shoulders.
      “It's not fair!” Alysia ran but Arturo grabbed her and hugged her. “It's not fair.”
      “I know.” Arturo said and Megumi joined in the hug. “She is going home to her children, and she we rest well.”
      “It's not fair…”
      Nemo approached the family. “Ojou-sama, we should return.”
      “Yes.” Megumi turned around and hugged Nemo. “Thank you Nemo, for everything.”
      “We are here to help Ojou-sama…” Nemo's Mana shaped hand caressed Alysia'a hair. “…and Guardian.”
      Alysia looked up at the elder fox, and held Arturo's hand. She wiped her tears and nodded. “Thank you.”
      “Yes.” Arturo said extending his hand out to Nemo. “Thank you.”
       As Arturo and Nemo shook hands, Ren took a puff of his pipe and hopped past the other Elders. “Remember what you see there. That should be our future with the humans.”
      The Elders turned to Ren and watched him fly away.
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      High ranking officers of the Society sat before the round table. The files on the table had Newark, USA and Valley City, Japan written under confidential. As photos of Alysia, Megumi, Emi, and Mayumi were passed around, a monitor of the world was imaged on the wall. There was silence in the room for moment. As the reports were looked over, anger built up and an old man threw his pencil on the table.
      “How did we let this happen?” He picked up a photo of Satoshi. “How did Intel fail us this easily.”
      A woman spoke at the far end of the table. “As the report said, these Arcadians came from different worlds.”
      “I don't believe it. They're terrorist organization that clearly kidnapped and brainwashed these children. Fed them drugs or hallucinogens.”
      “Our independent doctors confirm the victims were not drugged. The grey Mana that many citizens in Valley City now channel helps prove that there may be another world.”
      The young man leaned forward. “The Japanese Defense Forces have already said they cant contain the city and it's vicinity from the general public. The people will find out about the stoned forest.”
      The woman spoke. “The mayor is requesting more time and aide to remove the deceased who turned to stone.”
      An older woman looked at the report. “Can any spell undo the victims who were turned to stone?”
      “No. It's natural.” The young woman folded her hands. “There is also the Nocturne and the people who turned into it. They were freed but are now physically deformed. We have them in quarantine, but given the decisions we made with the Mayor and the Clans regarding detainment of the Grey Magi during the crisis, public opinion will get worse.”
      The officers relaxed. At the end of the table was middle aged man. His pins denoted his highest rank. He stood to his feet and looked at the world map.
      “Since World War I, we have kept magic under the cover of shadow. It was the best decision we made in hindsight when World War II happened. The moment America split the atom and the Cold War began, magic was the worse case scenario if the governments included it in their arms race.
      “We spent years keeping spells from the general public and military use. Americans in Granada, British in The Falklands, Soviets in Afghanistan; we did good keeping it under control, preventing a magical arms race. Our mistake was believing we could maintain it post Cold War. Terrorism, human trafficking, guerillas, proxy wars; we failed on those fronts. Regardless of who or what Arcadia is, they have proven to be far bigger threat then our own home grown problems.”
      The officer turned to the table. The officer flipped the page to a diagram of a missile going through a portal. “They have a tactical advantage over our world. Portal Bombing. The world's largest bullseye.”
      The officer placed his hands behind his back. “We have no choice. Our hand is forced. We will address this to the United Nations, UN Security Council, NATO, and all relevant organizations, about this new external threat. Then we will work together to bring Magic back to the general public. The world will return to the status quo. I only pray that our decision does not shift the world's political paradigm in the wrong direction.”
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      In South America, Darius, Myriana, and Victoria arrive at an encampment. Soldiers in huts with assault weapons watched the Arcadians with untrusting eyes. Darius made a large portal appear. A truck drove through it. The back was covered in tarp. He stood before the general watching from the top of the steps. He waved his soldiers to the truck. As they removed the tarp, the general's eyes opened wide. He walked down the stairs, past his troops standing like statues.
      Behind Darius were giant robots as tall as the trees. The Arcadian guided the general up the flat bed and pressed a button. The front chest opened up and revealed a cockpit inside. A group of soldiers exited from the portal. Darius presented them and spoke in Spanish. “Our advisors will train your men how to pilot Golems, at least those who can channel Mana.”
      “Amazing.” The general said, sitting inside the cockpit. He stepped out and looked to his men. “Pay them.”
      The soldiers led Victoria and Myriana around the corner. Before them was a cage with girls inside. As Myriana counted, Victoria took the hand of the oldest girl and analyzed her. “They appear to be malnourished. Mana output is minimal.”
      “They'll be cleaned, clothed, and fed. Once they have their physical and shots, they'll be ready for processing and training.”
      “Five for the aerial strike team, five for piloting Golems. That leaves us with one.”
      A woman's voice behind them spoke. “I'll take care of the lone girl.”
      Myriana and Victoria turned around and Kinomoto approached them. She looked at the eldest girl. As the teen gave her a scowling look, Kinomoto smiled.
      “She's a wildcat.” Kinomoto leaned closer and the teen pounded the gate to scare her. “I'll tame her myself.”
      Victoria stood beside Kinomoto. “Are you sure? She could turn on you.”
      “I need an older girl to serve as Senpai to my other pupils that I hope I will get to have.”
      “You will, on the next exchange.”
      “Good.” Kinomoto looked at the soldier opening the gate and Myriana creates a portal to a facility at the entrance. “Move.”
      The women smiled, watching each scared and crying girl enter the portal. Upon entering the portal, there was a woman standing at the balcony above surrounded by four men in business suits with earpieces. Each girl began to take deep breaths. The teen felt the intensity of Mana coming from the woman. A female soldier looked at the girls and barked at them. “Stand at attention and salute your President Supreme!”
      A soldier nearby standing at attention pressed fingers on her palm. A small shutter next to her pin opened and closed. She maintained her poised watching the soldiers teach the girls how to salute. Each image transmitted to a monitor where a young man started to move slid his fingers over a touch screen. “General, we have visual confirmation.”
      “Good job Jones.” Karin approached Jones accompanied by a male with Fujimoto name tag and female with Sanders name tag, in teal military uniforms. They all watched the images of the girls lined up looking up at the ceiling.
      Karin spoke. “Who is with them?”
      “We can't get a visual confirmation, but according to Suzie, Valdegaurd was scheduled to address the recruits.”
      “Then that could be her they are looking at.” Karin turned to the adults.
      Fujimoto spoke. “Are they from the Seiryu Universe?”
      “Suzie just sent a picture of the portal.” Jones slid the image and showed a jungle outside.
      As Karin stared at the jungle, she focused her thoughts and sensed the Infinite Knowledge. She clutched her head and the adults sat her down. “It's faint, but the image shows its Seiryu.”
      Sanders spoke. “So Valdegaurd is proceeding with Project Fairy.”
      “Yes.” Karin looked up at Fujimoto. “We should proceed with the rescue mission. Gather all Intel on the facility and arrange a meeting with the generals.”
      “Yes general.”
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      The next day in Japan, the Elders stood before the Neko Clan. Each adult cat and their young watched on. The leaders of the Clan approached the stage. Witnesses in their seats formed a circle. Their eyes made the children whimper, and cats hiss.
      Kameto the Elder turtle spoke. “We have come to a decision. We have found the Neko Clan guilty of Crimes against Nature. Treason. Murder of humans and animal spirit. Destruction of our lands and the city. Exposure of our ways. Child exploitation, Kidnapping, child conscription, child enslavement, endangerment of children, and child abuse. As the crimes continued to be read, Ren landed next to Kiba the Elder dog and took a puff of his pipe. “Kiba, I am aware of your investigation of the stolen books from the archives.”
      “Your Clan took advantage of the situation and executed the raid.”
      “Well that dome did get in our way.”
      “The only redemption was you fought alongside us, no doubt to get leniency.”
      “We only did because we wanted to train humans. The books we took were just the basics.”
      “I know. That's why we're not bring the full weight of the law on any of. Considering you're still here.”
      “Well I had to say farewell to Madam Mayweather.”
      “We will honor your mourning period, but you must face the tribunal regarding this theft.”
      “When I got a chance to speak with the girls when they returned from the Manasphere, they told me the Arcadians are motivated by ideology. And we just witnessed how they act on that ideology. Perhaps we should reexamine our ideology and feelings towards the humans, because they are still out there, and we are all vulnerable to their influence. We have no resolve because we keep mistrusting and misunderstanding each other. I would rather steal these books and use them to work with the humans to avoid this type disaster again. The world is going to change after we settle and rebuild. I suggest you and the Elders start thinking about others.”
      “We don't want to sacrifice our traditions.”
      “Nobody said you have to give up your traditions. We need to include them to get an edge over their Arcadian ideology. We can physically fight them all we want, but as our history has told us, ideologies are hard to destroy once they are put to paper and into minds.” Ren flew away and the leaders of the Neko Clan are escorted out.
      Kenichi the boar approached Kiba and spoke. “What was that about?”
      “Ren may have a point. We may just be too stubborn to listen.” Kiba looked at the Neko Clan. “I didn't pay attention, what are we doing to them?”
      “The leaders are to be executed; their warriors who participated in fighting the Nocturne are on probation and cannot participate in any type of activity for one year, the adults lose custody of their cubs for six months. No exile. The Elders want to keep the Clan close by and in check until they redeem their honor.”
      “I see.” Kiba looked up at the sky. “So overwhelming. So much to address. And Ren may be right.”
      “We need to give Ren and the Karasu Clan a chance to state their case. I'll give their theft of our books the benefit of the doubt. The Arcadians did make our world bigger than it should be after all.”
      “If it's about the Arcadians, I'll also give Ren a chance to speak.”
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      At the Akamastsu home, Emi was watching television. She was watching cartoons, it was the first time since elementary that she did that. She was quiet watching the bunny in the scene interact with a girl. Her pet Koi hopped on with its long slender body and white fur.
      “Yeeeehhh.” Koi called and curled up into a circle on Emi's lap.
      The sound of the door opening scared her. By accident, she changed the channel to the news and saw the world news report of the recovery in Newark.
      “Alysia and Megumi's home.” As Emi watched on, Mayumi and her parents enter. After they took their shoes of, Emi saw Mayumi quietly go upstairs. Emi's parents approached her and picked Koi up, placing it on the floor. It walked past her parents, and they watched the creature hop by. They looked at each other briefly, getting a handle at the new mystical they are in now. As Mr. and Mrs. Akamatsu sat on the couch surrounding Emi, she looked down at her knees.
      “Emi.” Mrs. Akamatsu said. “Listen to us. I want you to understand that we are not mad at you. You've been through so much that we can't imagine the amount of pain you're experiencing.”
      Emi's eyes trembled as she saw her mother's hands rest on hers. “Is it true? What I saw in the Infinite Knowledge about Mayumi?”
      “Mayumi will not live past nineteen.”
      Emi looked up at the television; another broadcast was showing scenes of Newark still recovering. American troops, law enforcement, and the Society with dogs searching for people. “I destroyed the world.”
      “I destroyed the world and killed my sister.” Emi got up ignoring her parents calling out to her. She took a step towards the television with her hand reaching out to a scene of a woman helping an injured man with a broken leg. It turned off. Emi turned around and saw her father sit the remote on the table. Looking into their eyes, she saw their pain, but she felt it was on the surface only. She felt their anger under the surface. Her tears fell. “I'm sorry.”
      Emi dropped to her knees. “I'm sorry I killed Mayumi.”
      She felt arms around her body. “I'm sorry I destroyed the world.”
      The arms tightened its grip. “I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!”
      Mrs. Akamatsu spoke. “It's not your fault!”
      Mr. Akamatsu spoke. “Damn the Arcadians!”
      Inside the bedroom, Mayumi cried. Her hands pressed on the door resisting to go downstairs. She slid down along the door, with her hands over her eyes. Her lips mouthed but made no sound. “It's not your fault. It's not your fault.”
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      Marissa stared at the floor. She felt the gravity pulling her into the straps, holding her up. She overheard Arturo talking on the phone. She wished she could get in on the conversation.
      “Yes, Mrs. Saito. We appreciate you watching over the girls while we're here until our passports are settled. What's that?”
      “I said that the Society is going to take care of everything. We'll be providing you and your family safe passage back to America without Customs interference and transfer your wife to our Hackensack Medical Facility for medical treatment. My superiors agreed to pay for all the expenses as thanks for you and your family's sacrifice in this crisis.”
      “Th… thank you.”
      “What's going on?” Marissa said.
      “Mrs. Saito said that… oh sorry Mrs. Saito, I should let you go.”
      “Of course. I will be expecting your daughters this evening. Natsume will enjoy having new friends over.”
      “Thank you.” Arturo hangs up the phone, and Alysia and Megumi entered the room with their suitcases. He told everyone the good news and girls hurried over to their Marissa's bed. As they prepared to lay on the floor to see Marissa there was a knock on the door. Arturo opened it and the Akamatsu family entered inside.
      Megumi translated for them. “Sorry for the intrusion.”
      “Please come in.” Arturo opened the door further.
      Mrs. Akamatsu led her family inside. Mr. Akamatsu shook Arturo's hand and presented him a bottle of wine. Mayumi and Emi followed with flowers in hand.
      Mayumi spoke. “These flowers are for your mother.”
      As Emi and Mayumi sat on their knees before Marissa to present them to her, Mrs. Akamatsu stood before Alysia and Megumi. “I know what happened to both of you. I'm not angry for what you both did to my girls. I can't imagine the pain you both went through, having your souls ripped out and forced to hurt others while you both physically walked not knowing what happened to yourselves.”
      Mrs. Akamatsu looked them in the eyes and saw the maturity in them. She placed her hands on their cheeks. “You're both so strong, helping Mayumi and Emi from so far away while this happened to you, when they needed someone. Then you came out here like you said you would. My family thanks you.”
      Alysia spoke. “It's what we do.”
      Megumi nodded. “We're Guardians. These types of things will happen. We just have to overcome and beat the enemies.”
      As Alysia nodded and smiled, Mrs. Akamatsu wanted to tell them that it's okay to be children, but somehow looking at the pride in their faces, she knew they were going to be okay. Mrs. Akamatsu hugged them. “Thank you for saving my daughters.”
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      Two days later at the Miyazaki house in the shrine grounds. Alysia and Megumi finished sweeping the floor. The teapot was boiling. The cakes were set up on a tray. Nina and Goro finished using their Mana shaped hands to plant the cushions around the table. Yuri flew along the ceiling attaching party strings. The animals gathered in front of the girls and Megumi smiled.
      “Thank you for your help.”
      Nina bowed. “No problem. We're going to relax outside now waiting for Ayane's treats.”
      Goro walked past them. “I don't know. Human treats make stomach turn.”
      Yuri followed Goro. “Give Ayane a chance. She's supposed to be a good.”
      “Of human food.” Goro and Yuri turned the corner while Nina and the girls smiled.
      Alysia spoke. “Are you sure you don't want to join us?”
      “Thank you, but this your night to be with new friends. You're both leaving soon and you deserve one night of happiness after everything you've been through.”
      Alysia looked down sad.
      “Besides, we have a celebration to prepare for ourselves.”
      Megumi placed her hands on Alysia's shoulder. “Not that kind of celebration.”
      “What do you mean?” Alysia looked at Nina and saw her eyes struggle to withhold tears. Alysia reached out to Nina, but the fox smiled and walked away. “I don't understand.”
      “They've lost a lot. So many people lost a lot.”
      “I feel like loser.”
      “Valdegaurd escaped. Most of the Nocturne took people from this town. Whoever created those domes will never be found. Many people, animals, and Mana Spirits are dead. What have we accomplished?”
      Megumi placed her arm around Alysia and pulled her into her chest. “We rescued a lot of people from this town. We got Mayumi and Emi away from the Arcadians. We gave the Byakko Universe a fighting chance freeing Karin and returning her to her world. Freed Newark from the Dome Spell. I don't know about you, but for our part, we did great under all this pressure.”
      Alysia nodded. “Yeah, we did. Didn't we?”
      Alysia and Megumi looked at the party set up and smiled.
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      Later outside, Goro the dog, Nina the fox, and Yuri the cicada relaxed outside. The cool winds marked the early days of fall. The twilight sky gave the afternoon sun its final goodbye. Mrs. Saito pushed Natsume in her wheelchair. They stopped before the nature spirits and bowed to them.
      Mrs. Saito spoke. “Good evening.”
      Nina, Goro, and Yuri bowed. “Good evening.”
      Natsume looked at Nina. “Is everyone here?”
      “Just Ojou-sama and the Guardian. You're the first to arrive.”
      “Are you joining us as well?” Natsume smiled.
      “We're just going to hang out here and act as chaperones while guys party.”
      Mrs. Saito smirked. “I see. I'm not going to do a good job watching over you kids?”
      Goro looked up. “Kids?”
      Yuri chuckled. “We still are, aren't we?”
      “Well…” Goro helped Mrs. Saito lift Natsume onto the house deck. “After everything we went through I would have thought we'd be treated as adults.”
      “Thank you Goro.” Mrs. Saito said and signaled Natsume to go inside. “Why do you kids want to grow up so fast? Can't you all enjoy being young right now? It's a one time moment in your lives you will never get back. Please, enjoy it.”
      Mrs. Saito smiled at them and she entered the house. She arrived in the living where Natsume was served tea alongside Ayane, Hideki, Takashi, Tomiko, Mayumi, Emi, Sayako, Keiko, and Rumiko. On the table were food and drinks. In the center were the lockets, pendants and bracelets the girls owned to change into their costumes alongside the pendants they received in the Manasphere. Mrs. Saito watched the teens interact each other. Despite their smiles, she could see the pain and recovery hidden in plain sight. Their conversations were telling her the story.
      Megumi sat next to Tomiko and waved to Rumiko. “Let's exchange numbers. If you feel lonely or miss your families, I will be available to talk about it.”
      As Rumiko nodded, Tomiko took out her phone. “Thank you.”
      Ayane smiled. “See Tomiko, you're not alone. Once my dad gets your bed set up in our room, we'll be sisters just like Alysia and Megumi.”
      Sayako got Ayane's attention. “Excuse me, Ayane. I won't be able to make the school council meeting this weekend. My family will be arriving for my mother and brother's funeral.”
      “I understand. I'll let the council know.”
      Hideki toasts to Takashi. Hideki spoke. “To Ren and the Wisps.”
      “Let's work hard with the Karasu and help bridge our worlds together.” Takashi drank with Hideki.
      Keiko leaned over to Rumiko with a smile. “Do you want a place to stay? My family has an extra room and are willing to let you have it.”
      “Thank you but… I'm not staying here after this weekend.”
      “Where are you going?”
      “Back to the Manasphere with the Mana Spirits. They said they could help me… heal.” Before Keiko asked another question Rumiko changed the subject. “So what about you?”
      “I'll continue to be Shining Star. I won't give up helping the world. The room is available if you want it.”
      “Yeah.” As Rumiko looked at everyone, her hands continued vibrating out of fear of being around them and humans. She took a deep breath and smiled.
      Natsume spoke with Emi holding the pendant she received from the Mana Spirits. “I don't know what happened, but it's interfering with the one you gave me for the outfit you created.”
      “Hmm…” Natsume touched the pendant and saw images of different magical outfits Emi wore. “This is interesting. Can you come by my home tomorrow so we test this out?”
      “Of course.”
      Alysia and Mayumi approached Mrs. Saito and bowed. “Welcome.”
      “Thank you for hosting my daughter Miss Perez.”
      “It's our pleasure having her.”
      Mayumi smiled. “Natsume helped us a lot. So, she's part of the team.”
      “I see you have the karaoke machine here.”
      Keiko waved. “I figured it was going to be boring tonight, even if we have the hot springs.”
      Ayane pointed at Hideki and Takashi. “Don't get ideas.”
      Tomiko smirked. “We have barrels ready for the boys as usual.”
      Mrs. Saito waved the teens to settle down. “Okay children, you all be nice and have fun. And boys… you behave yourselves.”
      “Yes ma-am.” They said.
      Megumi stood up and approached Mrs. Saito. “I'll show you to my family's ready room. We don't have anything but a single chair there though.”
      “It's okay. I have to catch up on my reports. Thank you.”
      Alysia caught Mrs. Saito hand. “Wait. Please.”
      Mrs. Siato turned around. “Yes, Miss Perez?”
      “I just want to say, I'm sorry.”
      “Lys this is not the time.”
      “I know Meg, but… I just… I just want to get this off my chest.”
      Mrs. Saito placed her hands on her hips. “You have nothing to apologize for.”
      “I know you all are saying it's not my fault for what happened, but I just… feel it will always be my fault.”
      “I'm sorry everyone…” Megumi bowed. “Alysia is still recovering from all of this and—”
      “May I say something, please?” Emi spoke and everyone looked to her. She stood to her feet. “Alysia, look at me.”
      Alysia lifted her head.
      “The reason why everyone is saying it's not your fault, or Meg's, or Mayumi's, or any of us… is because Valdegaurd is responsible for all of this. I know it's hard for you to accept because you did things, it's the same for me, but at the end of the day, she took advantage of us. She saw us as test subjects. Her experiments. Why? Because she's scared of us. Karin said it herself, we are Magical Girls and a threat to Valdegaurd's idea of Arcadia.” Emi let our her breath in frustration.
      “An idea. That's what all this was about. An idea. She killed Karin's friends. Girls our age because they were inspiring people instead of praising Valdegaurd. She sees our world and wants it, but saw us as the same threat as Karin and her friends. Only we numbered in the millions. Killing us off would have turned the world against her. I think that's why she did all this to us. Better to enslave then to kill. That's what the six of us were to her.”
      “Six?” Alysia looked up and Emi turned to Rumiko.
      “Yes, six.” Emi watched Rumiko lift her arms up where the shackles once wrapped around. “The Arcadians are cruel and are willing to do anything to us to get what they want. But they failed, and we're here. That's what we're celebrating.”
      Mayumi stood up. “Aly-chan, we're celebrating the safe return of my sister; Rumiko's freedom from her family; Karin's liberation from Valdegaurd's control; Ayane and Tomiko becoming Magi like us; Natsume's support; Hideki and the Karasu, the Kitsune, and all of the clan's help; Nina, Goro, and Yuri teaching us how to cast spells and watching over us; Takashi and Sayako fighting by our side despite not casting spells; and Keiko who understood my sister's fears from the beginning and believed she was not the enemy, but someone who needed saving.”
      Alysia's eyes grew wide at the accomplishments and she looked up at Megumi, who smiled and nodded at her. She breathed a sigh of relief. The weight of burden lifted from her shoulders.
      Mayumi continued. “And we're celebrating you Mrs. Saito, the only adult, who believed in us, who did your best in guiding us and supporting us.”
      Mrs. Saito shook her head side to side. “There's no need for that. It's my job. What you experienced was a taste of how the world really works, and I only hope… ask that you all learn from this, because when you complete school and become adults, it will be much harder, and we will not be around as much as we are right now.”
      Ayane and Sayako looked at each other and stood up. Ayane spoke. “Mrs. Saito, as members of the student council we would all like to extend our thanks for all of the help you gave us. Without you, we would not be here.”
      All the teens looked at each other with smiles and nodded.
      Sayako spoke. “Rise!”
      All the teens stood up as if in a classroom and everyone faced Mrs. Saito. Natsume turned her wheelchair towards her mother.
      “Bow!” Sayako and the teens bowed.
      Mrs. Saito's eyes trembled as she scanned the room and watched all of them honor her. “Welcome home, everyone.”
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      In the Manasphere, Eryn Hall watched the Mana Spirits work together constructing a building. He held blueprints in his hand. As wooden planks were hammered by Fro, Eryn Hall approached a bench. He laid out the blueprint that read ‘Irydia Academy'. His memories reflected on the meeting. He stood with the Mana Spirits before the wall of grey Mana, motioning around like ocean wave.
      Eryn Hall spoke. “Please, understand… we have an opportunity to make humans our allies. The adult right now, are trapped in selfish ambition, but their young, the children are innocent.”
      Fro stepped forward. “If we lock the humans out of Mana, it could have long lasting consequences. It will ruin the environment of the five universes. The Pillars may turn on us. We may never hear Irydia's voice.”
      Eryn Hall clenched his fist. “I know that the Arcadians hurt us, but there is still hope for the future. Those girls who were here, the ones Valdegaurd calls Magical Girls, they can fight for us, they just need training.”
      Marel spoke. “Mayumi, the Priestess of the Wind, she had a good idea when she formed the school. We have the open space and there is no grey mana to cause madness in this area. We even have a clear sky above. We can bring in students from all five universes safely and teach them how to cast spells. They can learn to make peace with each other. If this is a way to minimize Arcadia's influence, we have to give it a try.”
      A hand the glowed like the sun emerged from the wall of Mana. It was warm and gentle reaching out to all the Mana Spirits. Their eyes grew wide as it reached out to Eryn Hall. As his eyes trembled, he stared out at the blueprints. He turned to the rack with more blueprints.
      A voice called out to him. “Eryn Hall?”
      He turned around and saw Fro waving to him. “We need you to hold up the entrance to the school dorm. If we don't hurry, our first student won't have a place to stay.”
      “Coming.” As Eryn Hall approached the Mana Spirits to help, a winged Mana Spirit flew by scooping a blueprint revealing a file. It read Irydia Academy - Student: Rumiko Johnson.
      The Mana Spirit floated above the construction zone, each new building rising up one by one by magic and physical strength.