The sun had only been up for an hour before word
reached the Palace of Sanq that another village had
been attack. So the Mages were sent out immediately
to investigate traveling for what felt like a few
hours. As the four rode into the destroyed farming
village, the sun had barely begun to reach its peak.
But even that gave them enough light to see the carnage
that had happened as they rested the night before.
All that was witnessed by the Mages was nothing more
then burnt out structures and burning fields. The
bodies and livestock that had resided there were scattered
like forgotten playthings.
Duo’s ever-present smile slowly faded as he entered
further into the ruined village. As he glanced around
for survivors he noticed at least a few bodies of
children that where brutally slain. The way they had
been it was as if they where killed while fleeing.
The young Fire Mage could feel as if his heart raged
from the sight of innocents lost.
Trowa seemed indifferent to what he saw as if his
heart had frozen over. His whole life he had seen
nothing but loss and misery, to him this was merely
another reason why he should not be involved with
humans. Though for Quatre's gentle heart he would
remain to aid the wind master in remaining calm.
Quatre was horrified at the vision before his eyes
as they remained wide with terror. He couldn't look
away from the death around him, for it covered the
scenery at every turn. Though knowing that death can
claim the lives of all mortals, this display of inhumane
massacring left his gentle soul trembling.
Wufei, angered by the injustice committed
on helpless villagers as he and the other Mages continued
towards the heart of this chaos. His dark eyes vowed
that vengeance would be served for the fallen.
Dismounting from their horses and tethering them to
the remains of a nearby fence, they made their way
slowly through what seemed liked endless rubble.
People from neighboring villages and towns were pushing
aside rubble to reach anyone that might still be alive.
In their hearts they were glad that the people of
the Kingdom would not hide in fear while their fellow
man was in danger. But there was still yelling and
much chaos around them as those same people pushed
past the group of four with shovels, hoes and picks.
“This is horrible.” Quatre finally said after the
initial shock wore off. “So many lives wasted.”
“This is why we have been called by the Empress.”
Wufei spoke calmly though at his side his fist was
clenched tight as if wishing to inflict pain upon
those who did such crimes, “To put an end to all this.”
The four young men soon continued on for several more
minutes searching for those who needed immediate help.
Each of them had been listening to the crying of the
injured and dying for what seemed like an eternity.
Quatre after a brief hour soon found it hard to control
his empathic abilities and kept his arms and hands
close to his chest. He instinctively stayed close
to Trowa as if trying to draw on his strength to get
through this nightmare.
here! There’s someone still alive!” The Mages heard
someone shout from close by.
"There’s a woman trapped!” They watched
as more aid came to the woman’s side and began to
“Hurry with those shovels!” Someone else had ordered.
“Get those beams off her!”
Villagers scrambled to pull away broken pieces of
wood and large chunks of clay and mortar to free the
woman. Her cries were still quite audible and grew
louder with each piece of material that was moved.
Hearing her voice, the Mages realized just how trapped
survivors might have been and rushed forward to assist
in freeing the woman from the rubble.
“Let me through! I can help her!” Quatre yelled,
running ahead of the others, as he neared the group
of workers. They were pulling debris off the injured
woman. Quatre’s heart fell when he saw the extent
of her injuries. Her legs had been crushed when the
roof fell on top of her. It almost looked like she
had been stepped upon by something terribly huge.
Quatre regained composure from his shock and gently
gathered the young woman in his arms. His body jerked
involuntarily as he felt her terror and fear, though
he fought to keep it under control. Her eyes searched
for something in Quatre’s face, a glimpse of salvation
from the pain that wrecked her body. He concentrated
on her and slowly began to ease her deep and painful
“You’ll be all right now.” He said softly to her,
knowing that it was all he could do for her.
“An angel?” She said weakly, looking into the Wind
Mage’s eyes. “An angel has come for me…”
“I- I am no…”
“And you brought Death with you.” The voice of the
dying woman whispered. Her eyes widened as her fading
gaze was directed in looking past Quatre.
Quatre slowly looked over his shoulder and found Duo
standing there, leaning heavy on his scythe with remorse
in his eyes for the dying woman before them.
Pulling his attention back from Duo, Quatre asked
in hopes of receiving some sort of information as
to what caused this tragedy, “What happened here?”
“Demons…” Her voice was becoming softer as she forced
herself to speak with her final few moments, “…demons
attacked us…just before dawn…” She closed her eyes
and fell limp in the Mage’s arms, releasing the last
sigh of air from her body. It was clear that she was
gone from this World.
Quatre gasped aloud and shut his eyes tight as he
felt her last emotions race over him. His breathing
became labored as he tried to catch his breath as
if struggling not to be overwhelmed by this. He hung
his head down and pulled the woman closer to his chest
as tears of deep sadness fell across his cheeks.
The other Mages behind him looked on as Quatre slowly
began to rock back and forth with the woman in his
“Hey, Quatre are you…?” Duo started to say as he
slowly reached to touch the man’s shoulder.
“Please… don’t touch me.” Quatre voiced as he cried
without turning to look back.
“But Quatre you’re,” Duo started to say but paused
before trying to speak again, “Is she…?”
“Leave him.” Wufei snapped coldly towards the Fire
Mage in hopes of shutting him up. “We need to see
if there is anyone else alive who could use our help
and tell us what happened here. We can not help her
“But, he’s crying…” Duo worriedly spoke out as Wufei
started to walk away.
“There’s nothing Quatre can do for her.” Trowa finally
replied walking past Duo, “That’s why he’s crying.
She died in his arms.” Duo could only look on blankly
at the taller man, who seemed indifferent to what
“How can you be so cold?” Duo snapped back trying
to grasp how they could show no emotion over this.
“That woman just died!”
Trowa ignored Duo’s outburst and knelt beside the
lamenting young man and spoke in hushed words to coax
the Wind Mage back to the moment. “Quatre…”
“I… I will be fine…” he whispered back hoarsely, as
if he were trying to catch his breath. “It’s just…
“All right then,” Trowa answered back still in a soft
manner, “We will come back for you shortly.” Trowa
rose to his feet then followed after Wufei, leaving
Duo behind with the still kneeling Wind Mage.
“I don’t get those guys.” He mused out loud to himself
as he scratched the side of his head a bit flustered.
“And you,” he said addressing Quatre questioningly,
“I thought you could heal?”
“Her injuries were beyond my skills.” Quatre gently
laid the woman back down. He brushed the hair from
her face and delicately straightened her dress. Removing
his riding cloak, he covered the woman with it. “I
could do nothing but ease her pain.” He brushed aside
a stray tear and slowly stood up, backing away from
the body murmuring a soft prayer. The workers that
had remained around him carefully lifted the woman
up and carried her off to be buried with the others.
Duo watched as Quatre turned his back on the ruined
home and slowly followed behind Trowa and Wufei.
* * *
The hours grew longer as the sun rose higher into
the sky. The four young men did what they could to
help the village by removing rubble and help bury
the dead. But the day was far from being done and
they had been all rubbed raw mentally and physically.
Each one felt drained on one level or another but
they still pushed on knowing the importance of finding
"Over here! Quickly!" Someone shouted
in a panic. "A child is trapped!"
Duo's head popped up from where he was helping another
man to safety when he heard the cry. Looking around
he didn't see the other Mages, excusing himself he
headed toward the next rescue. A home was on fire.
Men and women stood outside it throwing water and
dirt onto the burning embers. Faintly from within
the burning inferno, a child's terrified voice echoed.
A voice at the back of Duo's mind whispered, not
Thrusting the end of his scythe into the ground, Duo
narrowed his eyes as they changed to a richer color
of purple. He pushed past those in front of him and
ran into the burning structure. The woman that had
alerted the others of the fire, screamed out in horror
as part of the roof fell behind the Fire Mage, seemingly
blocking his only exit from the building.
"What has happened?" Wufei asked the panicked
woman, as he and Trowa ran up.
"That young man ran into the house!" She
said frantically her eyes still wide from the shock.
"A child is in there and he went in after her!"
Trowa glanced around the crowd and noticed Duo's scythe
sticking out of the ground. "It's Duo."
Trowa said calmly before looking at Wufei and the
woman once more.
"What?" Wufei's head snapped back quickly
from Trowa to the burning home glaring only slightly.
"That idiot!" He screamed unsure if he should
feel that the unorthodox Mage was either incredibly
brave or insanely moronic for his actions.
* * *
Inside the building Duo felt oddly at home. He carefully
made his way through the ruins of the house. As he
walked, the fire appeared to part and swirled around
him. The child's cry was growing fainter and this
started to worry the young man.
"Where are you?!" Duo yelled over the fire.
He waited a few seconds before calling again. The
Fire Mage heard a tiny, 'Here', come from the back
of the house. "I'm coming!"
Working his way toward the back, he found a bedroom
door blocked by a ceiling support beam. The Fire
Mage heard creaking above his head and saw another
beam slowly breaking away from the ceiling. Duo threw
out his right hand toward the falling beam and muttered
an incantation. The falling piece of wood seemed
to freeze in place and explode harmlessly around him.
"Help me…" The tiny voice faintly cried
"I'm right here!" Duo shouted. "Just
hang on!" Looking at the beam blocking the door,
the longhaired youth, placed both hands on the fiery
piece of wood and drew the fire from it to him-self.
The fire danced along his hands and arms and quickly
* * *
"What's happened?" Quatre questioned as
he caught up with Wufei and Trowa. They pair could
only look on from beside Duo's scythe at the burning
"Duo ran into the building to save a child."
Trowa said still watching the blaze before his eyes.
"Apparently, when the attack came, the house
was thought to be empty, so no one bothered to check
it. But a fire started and a child was still inside."
Wufei spoke with a mix of worry and calm as he began
filling Quatre in on the situation.
"What about the child's family?"
As the Mages continued to think of a way to help one
of their own, there was an explosion that drew everyone's
attention back toward the house. It had seem to come
from somewhere at the center of the home. The crowd
that had swiftly gathered to watch, jumped back in
surprise and cried as the house slowly collapsed on
itself with Duo still inside.
"Trowa, a Water Spell, now." Quatre ordered
without much thought, inwardly he knew that the Fire
Mage could be badly hurt from the collapse of the
house and time was not on their side if they delayed
Trowa looked over at Quatre with a look of worry and
panic in his eyes. If he were to cast a spell now,
it was most likely the spell would freeze and the
house would be encased in ice, trapping Duo and the
But before Trowa could respond in protest, the figure
of a man walked toward them from the burning structure.
In Duo's arms was the shaken figure of a little girl,
no more than five years old. Her tiny hands and arms
clung tightly around Duo's neck. She was crying into
his neck and shoulder. Quatre rushed forward to meet
Duo halfway inwardly feeling relieved to see the two
of them alive. As he arrived closer the Wind Mage
noticed the large burn on the girl's lower right leg.
"Give her to me Duo." Quatre said, reaching
for the girl.
"No, I told her I would take care of her."
"Don't leave me." The small child cried,
tightening her grip on the Mage as if letting go of
her savior would only lead to more harm for her.
"I won't sweetie." Duo answered softly
doing his best to calm the small girl. "You're
going to have to help her, while I hold her Quatre."
"That's fine." Quatre replied with a relaxed
sigh. Closing his eyes, he gently placed his hands
over the girl's burn.
"Is he going to hurt me?" The girl sniffled
worriedly as she watched where Quatre had placed his
"Who? Quatre? Nah. He's going to help you
get better." Duo smiled trying to put the dark
haired girl at ease while adjusting his hold on her.
"I told you, he's pretty good at what he does."
With his eyes still closed, Quatre spoke up asking,
“What's her name?"
"Tifa." Duo answered.
"It's a very pretty name."
"My mommy gave it to me." Tifa told Quatre
and smiled a bit with pride at the origin of her name.
"But mommy is gone now." She stated with
a quiver in her voice as she started crying again
into Duo's shoulder.
"Did the monsters get her?" Wufei asked
the child trying to know more about the demons. Tifa
only nodded her head but didn't look up at the Mages.
"Did you see them?" She answered by shaking
her head at Wufei's second question.
“TIFA!!” A worried voice cut in interrupting Wufei’s
line of questions. “Tifa! There you are!” cried
a boy about nine year of age as he ran up to Duo and
“Garod!” Tifa cried out excited to see someone familiar
to her. Lifting herself off of the Fire Mage she
began reaching out toward the boy as he continued
running toward her. Duo nearly dropped her out of
surprise as she struggled to free herself from his
arms. Quatre suddenly stopped his healing while the
girl fought to reach the other boy, sensing her sudden
excitement. “Garod! I was so scared!”
“It’s okay now. We’ll take care of you. Me and Roby
Garod held onto Tifa tightly once he was in arms length.
As they embraced two other men that came with the
young boy also reached over for the pair. They knelt
down on either side of the two children and also hugged
Tifa to comfort her.
“Are you family to the child?” Wufei asked the group
feeling better that the young girl found those who
where familiar to her.
“No, we are friends of the family.” Roby said realizing
that others where present and stood up to speak with
them. “We were in the fields working when word reached
us that this village had been attacked. We came as
quickly as possible to help.”
“Roby, we should be going.” Witz told the standing
man with a hint of concern in his voice.
“Yes, you’re right.” Roby agreed then knelt back
down to gather Tifa into his arms.
“Wait please.” Quatre interrupted not wanting the
girl to leave just yet. “Let me finish helping her
first before you take her.”
* * *
Duo watched silently, as Tifa’s friends carried her
off. His face went soft and his eyes darkened at
the scene before him. The Fire Mage let a small sigh
escape his lips as he was glad that the girl would
be well looked after now. Quatre, who was still close
to the Fire Mage, noticed the look in Duo eyes and
saw something odd there.
“Are you okay Duo?” The blonde-haired man asked with
Duo blinked twice and his eyes returned to normal,
his smile was soft and almost ghost like. “Yeah,
I’m okay. She’s going to fine. She has her whole
life ahead of her now.”
More hours past and the remaining bodies were pulled
from the carnage of the ruined village. It was now
very much past mid-day as they eventually finished
the work they came to do. Aching in some spots and
tired all over, the four re-gathered near what remained
of the entranceway to the village.
“We’d better return now and give our findings to the
Empress.” Quatre said wearily as he rubbed his shoulder
to work a kink out. “Besides, it’s going too late
by the time we return to the Palace.”
“I agree.” Trowa added quickly feeling his own soreness
and fatigue, “I’ll retrieve the horses.”
“Uh guys…” Duo piped up a bit casually but hinted
with nervousness towards their reaction, “I’ll meet
you back at the Palace later.”
“What?” Wufei said shocked that after all that had
happened Duo would dare say such a thing. “You will
not be returning with us?”
“Nope.” The longhaired man grinned in the manner
they where most use to. “I’ve got an appointment
to keep first. I’ll be home by breakfast, possibly
in a day or two.”
* * *
Hours later at the Catnip Palace…
laughed boastfully as he raised a glass of wine towards
his companion. "You should have seen me, Milly!
I ran right in without thinking. I found the kid
and got out."
"Is she all right?" Milliardo asked curiously,
while leaning back into the arms of a young woman.
"Oh yeah, sure she is." He answered, popping
a chocolate dipped strawberry into his mouth and continued
to speak, “and she’s going to be fine now. Tifa had
a slight burn on her leg but Quatre took care of that."
"Quatre? You mean… Prince Quatre? The guy who
came to find you?” Milliardo asked with surprise.
"Yeah that would be him - he's this Wind Mage
with healing abilities." Duo threw a second
strawberry into his mouth chomping it down swiftly.
"Fixed the girl right up."
"Did the Empress call him as well?"
The braided hair man nodded his head swiftly before
taking another long sip of his drink then responded,
“As well as a Water and Lightening Mages."
"Interesting." Milliardo thought to himself
and glanced downward at this news. Interesting
"You're telling me. She's got us running all
over the Kingdom."
"Why is that?"
"Well, you know all those mysterious attacks
that have been happening, right before dawn and whatnot?"
Milliardo nodded his head in reply waiting for Duo
to continue. "Well, the Empress is having us
track down the demons that are the cause of it."
"Demons? Are you sure?"
"Yup. She's hoping that we will be able to stop
"Have you seen them?"
"Nope. We got there after they've destroyed
the village. All we know is that these guys are big.
"What do you plan to do if you actually see one?"
"Not sure, but until then I’m going to enjoy
my stay at the Palace." Duo smirked in his over
confident manner. “All the free food and board I
* * *
Later that evening, the three remaining Mages returned
to their separate rooms in hopes of getting much required
rest for the night. As the castle grew ever quieter
with the passing of time, Quatre found him-self still
very much awake. He was uneasy, but not because of
the task set ahead for him or the other Mages in having
to protect the people of the Kingdom from an unseen
enemy. But there was something else, no someone else
who still needed his attention for the day.
Quatre knocked at Trowa’s door and when he heard no
response, he let himself in quietly in hopes of not
to spook the taller man. The front room was similarly
decorated like that of his room. He spied the second
door that let to the bedchamber area. The young man
knocked at the door once he came closer to it. He
waited a minute before knocking again when he still
got no response and let himself into the second room
in hopes of finding the Water Mage.
The room was surprisingly empty of the body that
he was currently in search of.
“Trowa?” Quatre called out, “Are you…”
At that point Trowa stepped from an adjacent room
that remained unlooked upon. “Quatre? Is something
wrong?” He asked as he exited the smaller room wearing
only a pair of loose fitting pants. Trowa paused for
a moment as he tightened the bandages around his injured
side. His bare feet padding quietly against the cool
marble floor as he continued to approach Quatre.
Quatre felt his face grow warm at the sight of Trowa’s
slender form. His breath caught in his chest as he
felt his heart beating against his rib cage. “I…
I was just wondering how your side was doing.” He
said, finding himself sitting back against Trowa’s
bed, he blushed more but worked on composing himself
quickly as he looked down at the floor. “I was concerned
that you may have hurt it more with all that had happened
“My side? It’s fine Quatre. See…” Trowa raised his
arm and exposed his left side for the other man to
view. “I was just changing the dressing when you
came in. It’s all right.”
Quatre let out a sigh of relief that caught Trowa’s
attention. The taller man hid his smile and kept
his emotions hidden, as he moved to the other side
of the bed and laid down atop it. Trowa hid his pain
as he rolled over onto his injured side to face his
friend. He was good at hiding his emotions, having
needed to do so all his life. This time was no different
from the others. He watched as Quatre climbed onto
the bed as well and lay down to face him.
“All this must seem very strange for you.” The smaller
man said gently.
“It was only weeks ago, that I helped you in the woods
and now, you’re here in the Empress’ Castle.” Quatre
“It is a very interesting coincidence.” Trowa softly
spoke back through half closed eyes.
The two men chatted late into the evening simply enjoying
each other’s company. Quatre laughed at many of Trowa’s
comments, while Trowa himself continued to show little
or no emotion. It had troubled Quatre at first but
he had adjusted to his friend’s way of expression
and accepted it. After what seemed like a short time
later, Trowa yawned and rolled back over onto his
good side to get some sleep. Quatre had long since
fallen asleep during their discussion on the Fire
Grimacing, Trowa made him-self as comfortable as possible
on his right side. He lightly laid his right hand
on his injured side as if it would help the pain there
to go away.
“Trowa… you’re side still hurts, doesn’t it?” Quatre’s
voice asked sleepily. “You try to hide it, but can’t.”
The taller man held his breath hearing the soft voice
from behind him for a moment before answering. “It
hurts just a little. It’s nothing for you to worry
about. Go back to sleep.” Trowa tensed slightly
as felt Quatre’s hand touch his bare shoulder. But
relaxed he remembered those hands and their gentle
grip slowly pulled him over onto his back. “What?”
“I know it hurts more than you’re telling me.” Quatre
said softly as he gently placed his hand on Trowa’s
injured side. Quatre felt Trowa’s body tense under
his touch for a second time. “I could feel it all
the way to my room. This has never happened before
with anyone I have ever helped.”
Quatre’s touch was soft and gentle like the first
time the young healer had touched his injured leg.
A warming sensation seemed to radiate from Quatre’s
hand as he pressed it close to the wound. There was
a calming sensation that passed over Trowa as he watched
Quatre recite his incantation beneath his breath.
It helped him relax and feel comforted by the feeling
that continued to emanate from the blonde Mage.
Closing his eyes, Trowa listened to the words that
Quatre spoke, not understanding them. As he felt
himself drift off to sleep, he reached over and laid
his right hand gently over Quatre’s.
* * *
An attendant knocked on the bedchamber door, announcing
that breakfast was to be served shortly. At the
sound of knocking, Trowa was wide-awake, sitting up
quickly in bed with great alert. Even with his movement,
he had barely disturbed Quatre from his deep sleep.
"Yes?" Trowa answered, trying not to grimace
from the pain he felt as he had jolted awake.
"My Lord, breakfast will be served shortly.
You are expected."
Trowa cleared his throat to hide any pain that might
have carried with his voice. "Yes, I understand.
"By your leave then," Trowa listened closely
as the attendant left, then let out a relaxed sigh.
Trowa looked back over at Quatre and found him still
curled up asleep at his side. The Water Mage watched
his companion sleep and felt something from within.
If there were Angels in the World, then Quatre was
one of them he mused to himself. The young blonde
looked so serene as he slept. Trowa slowly reached
out to touch Quatre's hair, but jerked his hand back
when Quatre slowly opened his eyes.
Hiding his embarrassment, Trowa quickly spoke up,
Quatre made a squeaking sound as he stretched his
arms above his head. "What time is it?"
"Time is for breakfast. The attendant just came
"Oh, I better get back to my room before the
attendant comes looking for me." Quatre said
hurriedly as if he realized just how long he had stayed,
as he jumped off the bed. "I'll need to change
before breakfast." Straightening his tunic to
look neat, the Wind Mage continued preparing to leave
before asking. "By the way, how does your side
feel this morning?"
"Much better. The pain is almost gone."
Trowa said solemnly still pushing down nervousness
from earlier. "Thank you again for helping me."
"It was my pleasure." The blond-haired
man smiled brightly. "I will see you at breakfast."
“I will join you shortly.” Trowa said as he watched
* * *
The dining hall was full of life as the castle attendants
hurried about their duties. Numerous large tables
were scattered about the room covered with large platters
of food. Looking around the hall, Quatre spotted
Wufei and Duo sitting at one of the tables. Wufei
was eating conservatively, being courteous to those
around him. Then there was Duo, Quatre noted, as
he got closer to the table. His plate piled high
with meats and fruits and beside his plate must have
been a least two or three bowls of soup and broth.
“Good morning.” Quatre said, as he sat himself down
at the table.
“Good morning to you.” Wufei said, offering a plate
to Quatre who gladly accepted it. Duo said nothing
but made a grunting sound as he nodded his head in
“Has Trowa been here yet?” The Wind Mage asked.
“No, Duo was already here when I arrived this morning.
Is there something wrong?”
“Ah no,” Quatre said quickly, trying to hide his concern.
“I was just curious. He’ll most likely join us shortly.”
Or at least he secretly hoped.
Minutes went by and eventually Trowa arrived and made
his presence known to the other Mages. He waved off
a plate of food offered to him and stood beside Quatre
patiently. It was at this point that the Hall became
silent as Empress Relena and her aide, the Goddess
Lady Une, entered the room and headed toward where
the Mages were eating. As she approached, the Mages
stood in her attendance.
“Gentleman, please be seated.” She said, waving her
hand back toward the table as she sat down with them.
“The village, was it as bad I as feared? The reports…
I mean.” For a brief moment the Empress seemed to
lose her composure.
“It was as you had expected.” Quatre said quietly.
“The Demons attacked at dawn, destroying everything.
Only a handful survived.”
The young Empress leaned back into her chaired and
sighed softly. “We need to stop these attacks…” Sitting
back up, she began to say. “This is why I have called
“The Legends say that long ago, five Mages came forth
and defended the Kingdoms from Evil. They fought
in giant God Protectors. When the battle was won
and the Evil vanquished, the Gods returned to their
places of rest until they were needed again. The
five Mages themselves disappeared. No one knows who
they were or where they went.
“Then 150 years ago, that time came again when the
Evil returned, but this time, there was only one Protector
to save the Kingdoms. Because the Five Kingdoms had
broken down and could not find unity or peace with
each other, the other four Protectors were not found
and the Gods were never reawakened. So it fell upon
the shoulders of one man to defeat the Evil that had
returned. The battle was fierce and in the end, Heero
Yuy, the Earth Mage, bound his enemy to the depths
of darkness at the cost of his own life. The Peacecraft
Family, grateful for the sacrifice of the Mage, swore
that no other Kingdom would only protect its own borders
and united the Five Kingdoms into what you know today.
“But it seems that an Evil now again threatens the
Kingdoms. There have been reports from the furthermost
parts of our Five Kingdoms that villages are being
attack. I fear that this is only the beginning of
“Townships and villages are being attacked at our
farthest borders. And with each one, they come closer
and closer to the Central Kingdom.
“But as you see, I have only been able to gather four
Mages.” The Empress’s voice sounded quite sad. “The
fifth, the Earth Mage, is missing. No one knows where
or even who he is. And without him we can have no
chance of defeating this new Evil that threatens us.
So the four of you will have to resurrect one.”
“What?” Duo blurted out, spitting food from his mouth,
just missing Wufei who sat across from him. Who,
just barely dodged the flying food projectile. Quatre
let loose with a small gasp and looked up at Trowa
with concern, not for what Duo had done, but for what
the Empress had said.
Relena ignored the outburst and continued speaking.
“I’ve discussed this with my aide, Lady Une, and she
tells me that it is possible with the right incantation.”
The Empress rose from her seat and walked toward a
door behind her chair and to the left. The four young
Mages watched with interest as Relena returned with
an older gentleman dressed in priest’s clothing.
The man was wrapped in a cloak and his head was cover
by a hood that hid most of his face. “This is Priest
J. He will be giving you four the incantations you
need to perform the ritual.”
“So these are the new Mages you spoke of,” J said.
“Yes,” Relena nodded.
“They look a little young.” J said, looking over
the four young men before him. “But they will have
to do.” J folded his arms within his robes and pulled
out four rolled parchments. He handed each young
man one and continued speaking. “As the Empress has
told you, you four are needed to resurrect a fallen
comrade. What I have given you, is that very spell
Quatre and Wufei listened intently as the old Priest
spoke. Duo looked over the parchment quickly before
tossing another muffin into his mouth. Trowa, on
the other hand, held the spell parchment tightly in
his hand as though his very life depended on it.
“I give you one week to learn this spell. You must
learn to work together when reciting it. But I warn
you.” The tone of the old man changed and became
deadly serious. “This spell is in parts. And each
part must be said correctly. Each word. Each sentence.
If one is said without the correct inflection, the
entire spell would be destroyed and there would be
no second chances at correcting such a mistake.”
* * *
Soon after breakfast, Trowa found himself sitting
alone in Empress Relena’s private garden. He sat
at the edge of a large fountain, his face hidden in
“‘Morning Trowa.” Quatre called out. Trowa looked
up briefly and sighed as Quatre sat down beside him.
“You didn’t stay for breakfast and then you left so
suddenly. Are you all right?”
“Forgive me Quatre. I have been thinking.” Trowa
hid his face in his hands again. “I shouldn’t be
here with you and the others.”
“Why not?” Quatre looked surprised.
“My magic’s… how can I do the spell required of me
for the Living Storm, if I can’t do simple incantations?”
He looked up at Quatre with an expression that cut
Quatre to the quick. “I’m scared. I’m afraid I’ll
“Don’t be. I’ll help you with it.” Quatre smiled,
taking hold of Trowa’s hand. “We’ll work on the spell
“I don’t know Quatre... What we’re being asked to
do - I mean, it’s never been done. I don’t think
the Priest even knows if it’ll work.”
“It will work and you will do fine with it.” Quatre
stood and raised his hands above his head to stretch
out his back. “We’ve got a week to learn the spells.”
“It’s not that Quatre. Learning the spell will be
simple. Controlling it… will be something else.”
“You’re afraid it’ll freeze.” Quatre said softly.
Trowa nodded his head shyly. “I was practicing here
with the fountain.” The Water Mage let out a heavy
sigh. “It froze almost instantly.” Quatre reached
out and pulled the taller man to his feet.
"You are being too serious then with the spell…
with any spell you cast. You have to let the spell
come from your heart.”
* * *
Duo was investigating the grounds after breakfast
when he came upon Quatre and Trowa. He spied the
two men sitting together, talking quietly amongst
themselves by an enormous fountain. He ducked back
behind a retaining wall and watched with keen interest.
Something deep within him told him to have some fun
with these too unsuspecting Mages.
He watched from his vantage point as Quatre grabbed
Trowa’s hands and pulled him to his feet.
What are they up to? Duo mused as he watched
the pair intensely. He strained to hear what they
were saying. Quatre was smiling and laughing while
his companion looked worried. What's going on
with those too? Duo crept a bit closer to listen.
“You shouldn't worry about the spell at all.” Duo
heard Quatre say. “It'll be just fine. You need
to calm yourself and find that special place within.
You have a gift and you must accept it.” Trowa pulled
away from Quatre at that point.
“No… I never asked for this life.”
“You can't mean that.” Quatre countered. “You mean
you would rather have been someone's slave for the
rest of your life?”
Slave? Duo thought, What's Quatre talking
Trowa rubbed the back of his neck and shook his head
again. “No, that's not what I meant.”
Duo crept closer to the two engrossed Mages. His
position was okay for hearing, but he couldn't see
either of the two men very well. As he sidled down
the hedgerow he was hiding behind, his foot came down
upon a stone that rolled underneath his boot.
“Ah shit!” Duo hissed as the stone rolled out from
under his foot, tumbling him forward into the hedge.
“Who’s there?” Trowa yelled, pulling a pair of daggers
from beneath his wrap and launching them toward the
hedges. Quatre had just barely heard the rustling
of the hedges when Trowa threw his weapons. “Show
“Whoa-whoa-whoa!” Duo stammered, as he crawled through
the hedge and slowly stood up. He hands rose up above
his head as if he were giving up. “It's only me!”
“What were you doing there?” Trowa asked his voice
tight with suspicion. Quatre noted it was the same
tone of voice that Trowa had used with him when they
had first met.
“It's all right Trowa.” Quatre said, placing a calming
hand on Trowa's forearm. “He meant no harm.” Quatre
then turned to the other Mage. “Right Duo?”
“Yeah, no harm buddy!” Duo quickly caught onto Quatre's
subtle tone. “I was just walking by and tripped on
a stupid stone. I didn't hear nothing.” Gods…
wrong thing to say… Duo rolled his eyes. “I'm
sorry… I was listening.”
Trowa looked sternly at Duo as he apologized. “I
don't like being spied upon.” As he spoke, Trowa
pushed passed the apologetic Fire Mage, reached into
the hedge behind him from which Duo came through and
retrieved his two daggers. Trowa turned back sharply,
“You best keep that in mind the next time.” That
said, Trowa turned and began to walk away from the
two men. “In the mean time, you might want to have
your arm looked at.”
"Wha --? My arm?” Duo said.
“Trowa wait!” Quatre called after him, but the Water
Mage paid no heed and only waved his hand back as
if to tell Quatre, ‘Not now’. Quatre sighed and just
shook his head. He was about to say something else,
when Duo's voice exploded in his ears.
“He cut me!” Duo exclaimed. “He actually cut me!”
“What?” Quatre turned and found Duo holding his upper
left arm, blood trickled down beneath his fingers
and pooled in the folds of his tunic that rested at
his elbow. “Let me see.” Quatre said, examining
the wound. “It's not that deep. He only nicked you.
You were lucky.”
“Lucky? He could have killed me!” Retorted Duo.
“But he didn't. I've seen what he is capable of doing.
Hold still.” So saying Quatre placed his hand above
the wound and concentrated. And as Duo watched, his
arm was slowly healed.
“I thought you said you were a Wind Mage.”
“I have a natural gift for healing.” Quatre answered
nonchalantly, as he continued to heal Duo's arm.
“My Master saw that in me and while he trained me
to control the wind, he also helped me to control
my healing as well.” Quatre looked up at Duo then,
Duo marveled at his arm for a moment. “No scar.
Man, what is his problem?”
“You must excuse Trowa.” Quatre sighed, his tone
changing as he looked back to where Trowa had stalked
off. Quatre's eyes went soft. “He… is very uncomfortable
around others and because of that, he is untrusting.”
“I'll say. If he acts this way towards his friends,
I'd hate to see how he treats his enemies.” Duo joked,
causing Quatre to fight back a smile. “I mean, look
at the fountain…”
The fair-haired Mage turned and looked at the fountain
behind them. It looked like a giant ice glacier.
Its waters frozen in time and as the pair watched,
they could see the spell already starting to weaken
as the frozen currents of rushing water slowly began
to melt away under the morning sun.
The pair watched the ice sculpture as the water beneath
slowly broke through the thinning ice that encased
it, as it flowed once again freely. They sat at the
edge of the fountain talking, learning a little more
about the other.
In truth it was Duo doing all the talking.
* * *
The week came quickly and the four newly acquainted
Mages waited patiently for Priest J to make his appearance
at the Shrine of Heero Yuy.
“This is it?” Duo said, wrinkling his nose at the
ancient structure that loomed above them. “This place
is a dump! Are you sure this is the right Shrine,
“It is. I guess, there was no one around to help
with its upkeep.”
“You think they would, since it’s on the Palace Grounds.”
Trowa added nervously.
“Maybe they keep it this way on purpose. You know
to detour visitors or thieves.”
“Gee... either that or the cleaning ladies are really
slow....” Duo said.
“This! This is where the remaining magic’s of the
fallen Earth Mage Heero Yuy lies.” The voice was
creepy and took all four young men by surprise. Trowa
turned around quickly, a dagger held tightly in his
right hand as he instinctively put himself between
the older man and Quatre.
“Eeeeeee Wufei! Save me!” Duo screeched and jumped
into the other man’s arms almost knocking him over.
Angered Wufei quickly dropped him to the grassy ground
and stepped back.
“Geez old man! Don’t scare me like that!” Duo exclaimed,
one hand over his heart, his other hand gently rubbing
his butt and hip from where he landed ungracefully,
as he threw a dirty look at Wufei.
Before Duo knew what happened, Priest J hit Duo over
the head with his walking stick.
“You need to learn more respect young man.” He said
as he walked past the four men and headed toward the
sealed door of the Shrine. “No wonder G was so quick
to be rid of you.”
“Hey!” Duo shot the older man a dirty look and his
eyes flashed a rich violet in color. “Take it easy
old man!” He growled. “Not so hard!” Duo rubbed
the top of head.
“Priest J, the Empress told us to meet you here.”
Quatre said, gently pushing past Trowa.
“Yes, that is true.” Priest J passed a feeble hand
in front of a marble engraving on the door and muttered
something beneath his breath. There was a low rumble
and the ancient stone door slowly parted before them.
* * *