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THE GEM OF THE STAR
by Violet


Part Two: Child of Destiny

Note: Cha Cha, Shiine and Riiya don't play a very big part in this chapter... sorry. I was adding the finishing touches when I realized that, and it wouldn't be easy to just insert them in places and stuff...

"Where IS Seravi?" Dorothy demanded of no one in particular. She looked irritably out of the window. The sun was setting, bathing the green valley in golden light. Despite the beauty of the sunset, Dorothy's temper was starting to flare. Seravi had been summoned to a council at the Castle, since strange creatures were starting to appear in the land. Seravi had promised to return by noon, but six hours later he still wasn't there. Silently she decided that he would hear about this. Dorothy's personality had become gentler during the year and a half of her marriage, it was certain, but she had still not lost the all the fire in her spirit.

"What's the matter, Teacher?" Shiine asked. Cha Cha was in another room, watching over the six-month old Amethyst, and Riiya had been called home by his large grandfather. Dorothy turned to him.

"Shiine dear, I think I'll have to go to the Castle. I want to see what's going on around there. Please watch over Amethyst, dear." In a small puff of smoke, her broom appeared, and she flew away on it.

A shadowy figure, hovering in the air near the marble castle, watched unseen.

=-0-=

Seravi was worried. He knew that once he got home, Dorothy would probably scold him about his lateness, and why he hadn't notified her about it. Then he would have to instruct Cha Cha in one of her 'projects', a magical plant that, he feared, would have grown to the roof by now, what with Cha Cha's magic. He knew that Cha Cha was improving, but she sometimes lost her concentration.

On top of that, there was a strong sense of evil - and a great power - in the land.

These thoughts filled the mind of the greatest magician in the world as he flew quickly on his broom. The attacks by the monsters and assorted apparitions were quite disturbing, but he knew that they were not a real threat. Without Daimarou giving them power, they would easily be defeated.

He hoped.

He was so absorbed in his own thoughts that he failed to notice the hideous creature of black flame following him.

=-0-=

Dorothy skimmed quickly over the clouds. It was just like Seravi to be late, she thought to herself. Fuming, she increased the speed of the broom, the wind whipping her long golden hair.

She stopped suddenly. She had caught the flicker of Seravi's white robe, with a flurry of his dark blue cloak, heading rapidly towards the house on his broom. He was flying close to the ground, apparently not seeing the dark being behind him.

She held her breath, even as she flew towards her husband.

The dark creature raised its arms to strike. A ball of dark red fire formed at the palms of its hands. The blast of energy shot from the creature's hands and towards Seravi.

Dorothy's heart froze. "Seravi!" she cried, trying to reach him in time.

=-0-=

"Seravi!" He heard Dorothy scream. Seravi looked behind him and saw a dark red blast heading toward him. Quickly muttering a spell, he formed a shield around himself. The dark red fire crashed harmlessly against his shield.

Dorothy landed breathlessly at his side. "What IS that thing?"

"I don't know." Seravi increased the strength of the shield and then started to form a spell of his own power. A sphere of bright blue light formed around his hands. Dorothy silently added her power to that of Seravi's. The light of the sphere increased, slightly tinged with pink. Then with a single word spoken in unison, the two magicians released the spell. It flew quickly towards the dark being. They fully expected it to obliterate the creature of dark fire.

It didn't.

Dorothy gasped, unconsciously taking a step backwards. 'The - the energy-spell didn't work," she whispered disbelievingly.

"We're in trouble," Seravi muttered, putting all of his power into the shields. "Strengthen the shields, Dorothy," he said.

The golden-haired woman's brow furrowed as she concentrated, putting all she had into their only protection. She paled at the amount of strength it took. Meanwhile the dark, fiery being blasted them again. Dorothy swayed slightly, weakened by the power of their unknown enemy. Seravi looked troubled. "I don't know how long we can hold on," he said to himself as yet another wave of black flame crashed against their force shield. The shield was weakening under the onslaught of blows. The two magicians looked somewhat desperate.

"What are we going to do, Seravi?"

As if in answer to Dorothy's question, a blast of pure white light engulfed the black creature, sending it reeling. Flashes of lightning coruscated over its nimbus of flame, even as the creature twisted and writhed in agony.

Dorothy looked wide-eyed at Seravi. He seemed to be as astonished as she was, then surprisingly, he smiled. Then he gathered all his magic, whispered some words in a strange language, and extended both arms towards the creature.

The flaming being was suddenly engulfed in a soundless burst of pale blue light, which grew brighter and brighter until it was even more than that of the sun. The creature seemed to shriek, then disappeared, taking the light with it. Seravi grinned, took down the shield, and looked towards the blackened spot where their attacker had once stood.

"Thank you, Celestia," he whispered.

From behind them came the sound of applause. The two magicians turned and saw a figure, robed and cowled in white, looking at them. Dorothy started in surprise.

The figure spoke. "You did that very well, Seravi," came a sweet, clear voice. A woman. She spoke softly, but her words were carried to them in the now-gentle breeze. She came to meet them, her white robe billowing.

"I had help," Seravi answered.

"Indeed," the hooded woman murmured, turning to Dorothy. "Good afternoon, Dorothy."

"I don't seem to..." Dorothy stammered.

"Oh, I guess I forgot," the woman said, pushing back her white hood. Her face was flawlessly beautiful, with a kind of youth and radiance about it. Her violet eyes sparkled, and her long, dark hair was tossed about in the breeze. "I'm Celestia," she said, and smilingly added, "sorceress and once teacher of that green-haired magician over there."

"Teacher? Did Seravi have a teacher?" Dorothy faltered. "But... you look a lot younger than both of us!"

"I know," Celestia smiled. "I became the Daughter of Light at seventeen, and since then I've stopped aging."

"You stopped aging?"

"Yes... and if you took my powers away from me, I would be a seventeen year old girl. The years I spent as Daughter of Light don't age me."

"And you were Seravi's teacher once." Dorothy turned to Seravi. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"Maybe Seravi forgot to tell you," Celestia said. "You've improved much since we last met, Seravi. The world's greatest magician now, are you?"

Seravi nodded.

"Not bad." Her violet eyes narrowed in thought. "Dorothy," she said after some thinking, "do you have a daughter?"

"Yes. Her name is Amethyst."

Celestia's forehead creased with worry. "Oh no," she groaned finally. "Seravi, didn't you study anything? You're not supposed to be away from your child - you shouldn't leave her by herself!" She paused, glaring at him. "How stupid could you be? Your child is in great danger! Get to your castle immediately!"

"You don't mean--" Seravi started, eyes going wide in shock. "It can't be!" Celestia was already forming a starry sphere around herself. Seconds later, she disappeared.

Dorothy stood stock-still for a moment and then her broom appeared. "Well don't just stand there, Seravi, move it!" she snapped, hopping onto her broom and speeding away.

Seravi sighed. "Oh no..."

=-0-=

"AAAAAAAAARRGGGHH!" The scream rang out, shattering the peaceful silence around the tall marble castle. Seravi and Dorothy looked at each other. Celestia?

"She can scream even louder than you, Dorothy," Seravi commented as they landed on a marble balcony. "I didn't know ANYBODY could do that."

Dorothy ignored him. "What IS happening?"

There was another scream followed by several explosions.

Seravi frowned. "Oh no. We'd better hurry before Celestia wrecks the whole castle."

"She wouldn't do that -- would she?"

"My teacher is unpredictable sometimes." Together they ran towards the room where the screams where coming from.

"AAAAARRRGGGHHH!" came another scream. There were two other explosions and smoke drifted out of Amethyst's room.

"Celestia! Please calm yourself!" Seravi cried, stepping inside the room. Celestia looked up at him and immediately the explosions stopped. She seemed a little sheepish about being caught in one of her tantrums. "Oh. Sorry."

"What is the matter?" Dorothy asked curiously.

The dark-haired woman made an effort to calm herself. She held out her hand and a piece of paper appeared in it. "This," she replied through clenched teeth.

Dorothy took the note from her hand. As soon as she read it, her face paled. "Oh no..." she said, her gray eyes blazing. "NO..." The paper burst into flame as she crumpled it in her hand.

Seravi looked at the two furious women before him. "What?"

Celestia glared at him. "Your child has been kidnapped, Seravi. Isn't it obvious?"

"WHAT? But who? How?"

"What about Cha Cha? Shiine?"

"They're fine." The sorceress sighed. "Sit down, both of you," she said, waving her hand. Two chairs appeared in the room. "This is going to take a while."

=-0-=

"A few hours ago, the Lord of Darkness arrived in your world. That was why I was here, actually... I was looking for him."

"The Lord of Darkness..." Dorothy said softly. "The signature on the note..."

Seravi's former teacher nodded. "Yes, that was him." She looked at Seravi again, her violet eyes still a trifle angry. "Do you still remember what I taught you about him? Well, he's back."

"But he was imprisoned thousands of years ago!"

"He escaped. Obviously." She sighed, putting a hand to her forehead. "This is very serious, Seravi. The Daughter of Light who imprisoned him was very powerful -- much more experienced than I." She smiled faintly. "After all, I've only been doing this for two hundred years."

"Two h-hundred?" Dorothy gasped. "But what does this have to do with Amethyst? With us?"

The sorceress looked intently at both of them. "A lot. This is how it goes...

"Hundreds of years ago, the Daughter of Light, Florynna, was able to defeat the Lord of Darkness. However, she did not destroy him completely, but instead imprisoned him in the Spirit Orb, a dungeon made of pure Light. She did not kill him because she knew that it was not her destiny, that the destruction of either Light or Darkness would only occur when Darkness was able to force Light to combine with it, or when Light's power would be reinforced by more Light and finally destroy the Darkness."

"Light? Darkness?"

"They are the primary forces in all that exists -- the representation of ultimate good and ultimate evil." She paused and continued. "Florynna, before dying, put her power in a single jewel forged by the stars. This would be the way for either Darkness or Light to finally win. She then sent the jewel to a world in one of the universes, well hidden from the eyes of ordinary men, except for they who had been destined to find it."

"Us, you mean," Seravi finally said.

Celestia nodded. "Here, I'll show you." A scroll appeared in mid-air. "This is the Lumine Oracle. It's a little difficult to understand, but here's what it says about you." She took the scroll, unrolled it, and read out loud: "Behold, in the days that follow the destruction of the world of Water, the Lord of Darkness shall break free of the Light that encases him, in search of that which shall make his victory over Light eternal. Guard well the daughter of the Master of Ancient Magic, for she is the Child of Destiny, and should the Lord of Darkness be able to spirit her away from her father, the way to the Gem of the Stars shall be made clear to him.

"And should the Lord of Darkness achieve that, then must the Daughter of Light journey to the world of the Gem, to seek out the Master of Ancient Magic, the Mistress of Ancient Magic, the heir to the Goddess, the Magician-Knight, and the Young Wolf. This company must be complete, for the Gem will not reveal itself save to the Child of Destiny or this five, who are the Guardians of Light.

"They must then seek out the Gem of the Stars, for if the Lord of Darkness should be able to take the Gem for himself, then all that was, all that is, and all that will be shall be plunged into everlasting Darkness, and the Light will vanish as if it had never been. However, if the Daughter of Light should be able to find the Gem, with the five Guardians of Light, then she will be able to defeat the Darkness, for the Gem of the Stars holds immense power, through which Light or Darkness may triumph." She looked at the stunned couple. "Did you understand that?"

"Who are the people you mentioned?" inquired Dorothy with a puzzled frown.

"The Master of Ancient Magic is me..." Seravi said quietly.

"You?"

"The Mistress of Ancient Magic is you, the heir of the Goddess is Cha Cha, the Magician-Knight is Shiine..."

"Shiine?"

"... And the Young Wolf is Riiya." Seravi looked at Celestia. "Was that right?"

"More or less, yes."

"Why us, then?" he asked.

"Because of Cha Cha," Celestia replied. She looked at their uncomprehending faces and sighed. "Oh, Gods. Have you forgotten all I taught you?"

Seravi's green eyes narrowed. "It's because of the Princess Medallion, isn't it? That and the Goddess Queen Joan."

The sorceress smiled. "Better and better, Seravi. I'm proud of you. The three jewels came from the Gem of the Stars... that's why they hold so much power -- enough power to defeat Daimarou. They were given in the form of the Princess Medallion, bracelet, and ring to the then Queen Joan. That was why she became a goddess."

"Wait a minute," Dorothy interrupted. "How do you know so much about the three jewels?"

"Because I MADE them."

"W-what?!"

"Yes... when I became the Daughter of Light, I saw that the world of the Gem was in danger... so I gave the jewels to Joan." Celestia beamed at them, her violet eyes twinkling. "I didn't know she would be so very good in using them that she could summon the power of the power of the Phoenix Sword."

"And you didn't know that Cha Cha could do it too."

"Oh yes," Celestia said in answer to Dorothy's comment. "I really didn't expect it." She stood up and brushed some imaginary dust from her white gown. "They should be here by now. Cha Cha and the others have alerted the royal castle to what has happened." She turned to Dorothy. "Please greet them, Dorothy, and tell them what has happened. The sooner we leave, the sooner we can start the search." Dorothy was surprised by the glimmer of trouble in the sorceress' eyes.

"I -- yes, Celestia," Dorothy replied. She went out of the room.

Celestia looked at her former student, the calm now gone from her face and replaced by a brooding worry. "Seravi, I have something to tell you."

"What is it, Celestia?"

"I can't use my powers anymore."

"You've lost your power?"

She smiled slightly. "Of course not. It's just that I can't use it anymore. The Lord of Darkness can feel the use of sorcery and if I use my power he may hurt your child. I'm sorry, Seravi, but I won't be able to help you much. I can only do... little things, without his noticing."

Seravi's heart sank. "Oh no." He sank lower into his chair.

"Well," she said, "you're the world's greatest magician anyway." She turned away from him and looked out the window. "They're coming up the stairs. This will be a very dangerous quest, you know," she sighed, "and probably one or more of you will be killed." Tears brimmed in her eyes, and she angrily dashed them away with her hand.

Seravi was feeling worse with each passing second. "What do you mean?"

"Seravi," Celestia began, "you are in even more danger than when you faced Daimarou. The Lord of Darkness is as powerful, or more powerful than I am... and with all your combined magic, could you face him and have a chance of winning?"

Seravi did not reply.

"It is very likely that one or more of you will die... or be mortally hurt. But we must do this... or the seven universes and the hundred realities will fall under eternal Darkness... which is the worst fate I can think of."

"We don't have a chance then."

"OF COURSE we have a chance, Seravi!" she exclaimed. "While there is life, there is still hope. And," she smiled faintly, "we might have a little help..."

"Because of your being Queen of the Immortals."

"Yes." She smiled brightly. "You see? There's always hope..." her face grew troubled again, "even if only very very little."

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