MARCEL (barely awake): Ahhh... The wind... I feel it blowing by my ears....It's blowing so strongly... So strongly...
RANDY (bleary): I feel it, too... And look. Look at the color of the sky...glittering like a blanket of blue glass...cut straight in half by a cover of clouds of the purest white. I've never seen such a strange sky before...have you...?
MARCEL: ...No... ...hey......Randy......
RANDY: Hey... Why...what are we doing lying on our backs outside, staring up at the sky?
MARCEL (getting up): --That came to you, too?
RANDY (rushing up): --No kidding!
The two snap from their puzzled haze: it's too desolate for the Sanctuary - and their surroundings are unlike any place found in their home. Indeed, they find themselves to be on a mountaintop, all alone.
Marcel tries to remember how they got there, but he draws a blank - he can't remember anything that happened just before looking up at the sky. Randy fares no better. Marcel starts to panic, but the two are interrupted by the sudden appearance of a traveler from far off. From afar, the two note he has a grey mantle and a wooden staff. They decide to run to him, and when they approach:
CLAVIS: Greetings, young ones. Is something the matter?
Marcel is relieved: "Why, if it isn't Clavis-sama! Thank goodness!" "Clavis", however, is unassured: "Whom did you say I was? Might you not be mistaken?" The boys take a side conference and note that this Clavis is acting strangely - he has Clavis's calm, yes, but instead of harsh and curt, his demeanor is gentle and open, with a self-effacing laugh. Nevertheless, they resume the conversation, trying to get him to cop to being the Guardian of Darkness, but discover that he is unfamiliar with this entire "Guardian" concept all together. Randy presses on: "Forgive me, but - you mean that you really don't recognize us at all?" The man answers: "I'm horribly sorry, but no. ...From where did you two come?" The boys try to explain about the Queen and Sanctuary, but neither of those proper nouns ring a bell, either.
Marcel is aghast, accidentally calling the man "Clavis" once more. The man smiles and continues: "I'm sorry, but no matter how many times you insist, I am not this 'Clavis' of whom you speak." He insists that this land is his home, and he introduces himself as "the Wanderer." Randy finally gives and tells Marcel that, despite the physical similarities, this man cannot be their Clavis. Marcel, for his part, wonders, if they have indeed suddenly found themselves in a strange land with unfamiliar folk, how they're going to get home. Randy: "Well...that's for us to find out."
Randy turns to the Wanderer, apologizes for the confusion, and asks if he might not be able to take them to the nearest town. "Town?" the Wanderer responds. "There is no such thing here." None?" says Randy incredulously. "Take a good look," the Wanderer responds. "Follow this path downward, and you will pass through grasslands and forests. Beyond them lies a desert, and then an even higher peak than this. Each place has its inhabitants, but each keeps to his own abode. Whether or not they might be able to help you...I do not know." Marcel, nervous, asks if the Wanderer knows on what planet they currently are. He does not. Randy steps in to reassure him: the planet is populated, so there's gotta be some sort of connection to the Sanctuary somehow. Marcel feels better: "Thanks, Randy. I guess the Guardian of Wind really does bring courage!"
The Wanderer notes that he has business to which to tend at the summit but informs the boys that if they enter the forest at the base of the mountain, they will come across a large house made of stone. The owner, claims the Wanderer, should be able to offer some sort of help. Randy thanks him and asks what this forest-dweller's name might be. "Ah," says the Wanderer, "he is called the Thief." "The Thief?" squeaks Marcel. "Wow...that's...some name..." The Wanderer laughs gently and reassures the boys: "Don't worry. He's not a bad man. You'll know when you meet him. Will you be all right traveling by yourselves?" Randy assures him that they will and offers a quick thanks; Marcel agrees, apologizing for the confusion earlier. "Be careful in your travels," says the Wanderer, and Randy tells him to do the same.
The two journey on down the mountain, coming to the first new landmark. The Guardian of Green is delighted at the sight of all the flowers blooming in such a big, bright meadow - "and such rare grasses, too!" "Just the scenery for Marcel, huh?" says Randy. The two head through the meadow for the forest. On the way, Marcel wonders what kind of commotion their disappearance from the Sanctuary has caused. "Yeah, really," laughs Randy; "Julious should be sending out the troops right about now." It occurs to Randy, though, that the disappearance of two Guardians from the Sanctuary might have grave consequences for the universe. The two of them solemnly resolve to get back to the Sanctuary as soon as possible.
Randy tries to turn the exchange around by noting that looking at the "rare grasses" should be enough to make Marcel better. Of course, replies Marcel - "You can tell the nature of a place by its plant and animal life. This seems like such a quiet, peaceful place." Randy laughs - "Just like the Guardian of Green!" Marcel giggles. The boys arrive at the forest.
The forest proves a bit less hospitable - it's deep, and finding the Thief's stone house is difficult. Suddenly, Marcel stops still - "Randy! ...Something's here!" Marcel can hear it breathing. Randy can't, at first - but then the "something" lets out a deafening roar. Randy and Marcel dash for cover -
Night 2: The Lost Boys
- but they are already within the beast's sights. It charges, and the boys scream - but suddenly, a sharp warrior's cry rings out, and an arrow flies toward the monster. It falls.
"Are you hurt?" a strong, confident, yet soft voice inquires as its owner strides toward them. "Huh? Lumiale-sama!" Marcel enthuses, overjoyed. "What are you doing here?" Again, an apologetic denial: "Might you not be mistaking me for someone else? I am the Illuminator. I live by the river beyond the meadows." "Then...you're a native of this land too?" Randy asks. "Yes," replies Bishounen Senshi Sailor Lumi, confirming that he has never laid eyes on either boy before.
Marcel introduces themselves as Guardians from the Sanctuary, asking if the Illuminator might have heard of them but not expecting an affirmative answer. As suspected, the Illuminator has not. The party is interrupted by the flustered arrival of a frightened and utterly disheveled man out of breath from running across the forest - "How horrible! My Cerenis...*" "Yes...I just grazed it with my Bow of Spiritual Power; it should revive shortly." The newcomer is deeply relieved, and apologizes to Randy and Marcel for any "inconvenience" they experienced from the beasts in "his" forest. Randy asks: "Um...might you be...are you the man they call the Thief?" As you might have guessed, our flustered, overapologetic Thief is none other than this world's Luva. Marcel is getting a little creeped out: "Randy...do you think it's plausible that we could come to a strange world and meet no one but people who look like those we already know?" Randy admits he has no answers and is flummoxed by the whole thing.
The Thief, for his part, notes that the crisis seems to have ended: "Since we're all standing around talking, why don't we go to my house for some tea instead?" At this Randy and Marcel break out laughing; some things don't change from world to world.
* - [No, I have no idea what a Cerenis is; I'm guessing at the transliteration.]
At the Thief's house, Randy and Marcel have explained their predicament and the odd resemblance between the inhabitants of this world and their friends. Randy describes Luva has being shut up in his mansion all day, making his way through piles of books, and the Thief protests: "For me, my goal is to memorize all this by heart, so it's a little different, you see..." The Illuminator: "*I* don't think it's so different." Marcel: "Neither do I!" The Thief relents, then explains the derivation of his name - the mist does not cloud his memory or extensive knowledge, so he is called the Thief. [Yeah, the connection doesn't seem natural to me, either; it'd be more natural if he said his vast knowledge acted as if it stole the mist away.] Randy is left with a question, though - who exactly gave the people of this land their names? "No one gave us these names," explains the Illuminator. "We've just had them from the very beginning." "From since you were born?" asks Randy. "From ever since we've been here," says the Illuminator.
Conversation turns to Randy and Marcel's predicament. The Thief has no way of helping the boys himself, but he has a suggestion - there is someone who lives on the top of a high mountain peak to the north. If anyone would have information about the outside world, it would be he. The Thief offers to show them the way - but not before offering a refill of tea. "Sure, Luva-sama!"
The party arrives at a giant tree. Not just any tree, though - both its trunk and leaves glimmer like precious gems. "This is the highly precious Slumbering Tree of Jewels," explains the Illuminator. "Someone lives at its crown." Randy and Marcel don't believe it, but the Thief points it out to them: "See? There's a swing hanging from that high branch! He Who Is Fulfilled must be taking his afternoon nap!"
"I'm awaaaake!" says a familiar fabulous voice. "Hiii!" "That beautiful man is He Who Is Fulfilled," says the Illuminator. "I'm not even surprised anymore," says Randy. Marcel: "Me neither." He Who Is Fulfilled tells the visitors to help themselves to the fruit of the tree, if they like - "but leave the purple one alone, OK? There's someone who needs it!" "Please don't mind me," says HWIF's visitor, the Wanderer - he finished his business atop his own mountain, burning some smoke, a while ago. "With the favorable direction of the wind, we should be safe from it for a while." He Who Is Fulfilled happily greets the Wanderer, who laughs gently in return; HWIF invites the Wanderer to help himself to the tree's fruits as well - "good for eating, making medicine, and for dyeing *beauuuutiful* outfits like this!"
He Who Is Fulfilled gets around to noticing Randy and Marcel and asks for a introduction. The Illuminator complies, and Marcel happily compliments him on his many-colored clothing, with Randy following up with compliments to his fashion sense. This endears them as spectacularly as you would expect to any Olivie analogue (and the Illuminator seems to pick up on their tack: "Another lookalike for a friend back home?" Randy: "You got it"). He rewards them with some golden fruit, which he lobs at them from the top of the tree rather scarily ("CATCH!!!"). He throws one to (at?) the Wanderer for good measure.
The Wanderer declares that he'll take his fruit as a present to "the Guide"; he then turns to address the Illuminator, offering to show Randy and Marcel the rest of the way to this Guide. "That's where you're taking them, isn't it? I have business there; let me take this task for you." The Illuminator and the Thief thank the Wanderer for his help, while Randy and Marcel confer: "Randy, this man sure isn't Clavis, is he?" "Mm. He has a way, WAY better work ethic." "Well, then, shall we be going, my lost lambs?" asks the Wanderer, and He Who Is Fulfilled gives them all a happy send-off.
On the way, Randy turns to the Wanderer: "Mind if I ask you a question?" "Anything, if it is within my power to answer." Randy asks the Wanderer about his burning smoke at the top of his mountain, lest "it" come - "What do you mean by 'it'?" "Ahh. 'It' is the white mist. I burn smoke to purify it." "The mist?" "Indeed. This world is held up by the white mist. Go beyond its borders, however, and you will be swallowed up by it and disappear. We must struggle constantly with the white mist to survive." Randy: "That mist, then...it couldn't be..." Marcel: "Then...the white stuff that takes up half the sky - it's not clouds? It's the mist?" "Indeed," says the Wanderer. Randy takes another look at the horizon and shudders: "The white mist...just looking at it fills me with dread."
Night 3: Within the Mist
The three travelers cross an expansive desert; Randy comments on the fierce wind. The Wanderer notes that even an inhospitable desert like this has its inhabitants - "the Striver, still quite a young man." Right on cue, another voice: "HEY! You guys - WAIT UP!"
RANDY: Man, *another* one.
MARCEL: This one looks just like Zephel...
NEWCOMER: Hey, you--what the hell, Randy and Marcel? And Clavis, too!
RANDY & MARCEL: He's THE REAL THING?
No sooner are the boys reunited than they set to arguing. Zephel claims that woke up from his nap in the middle of this desert - where he found a tent, of which he decided to make use while he was there. No harm done, right? Randy, though, is livid that Zephel hasn't been searching for any way to get back to the Sanctuary and apparently feels no sense of responsibility to get back there. After some bickering, An exasperated Marcel breaks in, claiming that the quarters are simply too close to fight like this. (The party has moved into Zephel's tent to seek shelter from the wind during their conversation.)
"That reminds me," starts Marcel, turning to the Wanderer, "this tent belongs to that Striver person you mentioned earlier, doesn't it?" "What?" says the Wanderer in soft surprise. "I know of no such person." The boys' confusion to this immediate contradiction is broken by Zephel's own discovery that this Clavis is not Clavis, and that they have indeed been hurled into a different world. Randy replies that he hopes it's only a different world, not something so insurmountable as a different dimension or time. The Wanderer announces that the wind has relented, so they should be off.
The party arrives at the Guide's home. "Wow," says Marcel, "it's just like a temple!" "Who the hell," Zephel gasps, "would live on top of a #$%#$@% mountain?" Randy snaps at Zephel to mind his manners, which nearly leads to another fight before the Wanderer opens the huge metal doors to the Guide's home and invites them in. The boys are reluctant just to go ahead and barge into such a solemn edifice, but:
WANDERER: Guide! Are you here? It is I.
JULIOUS'S VOICE: Wanderer? It's been a while!
Another shock, and the conversation continues.
WANDERER: ::smile:: They say health is the greatest gift, so I got you a present from He Who Is Fulfilled. It's your favorite, isn't it?
GUIDE: Ahh...a fruit from the Tree of Jewels. It smells wonderful.
WANDERER: Just say the word, and I'll bring one to you any time you like.
The three boys watch with mouths agape. "Wow...they seem on pretty good terms with each other," notes Marcel. "We've always wanted to see them like this...and yet actually seeing it...it just seems so wrong somehow..." Zephel can do nothing but say "What the hell?" and laugh like a trauma patient.
The Wanderer interrupts the trio's complete mental breakdown by introducing their problem to the Guide. The Guide muses that finding a way home for the three might be difficult. "Look out the window," he says; "Do you see? This land hangs suspended in the white mist like a floating island. It is surrounded by nothing but the mist. There is no way for us to tell whether any other world lies outside it." Zephel: "Then you're saying our own universe might be...?" "Yes - it might exist as a place altogether separate from ours. At the very least, I know of no road that would lead to it." The Guide turns to the Wanderer: "And you came all this way just to ask me. I'm so sorry." The Wanderer: "There's no helping it. It's in no way your fault."
The Guide turns back to our Guardians: "Hmm. Perhaps you should visit the Courser. He might have some knowledge of the outside world."
Outside the Guide's home on their way to yet another supposed helper, Marcel asks: "Hey...Randy...you think we're stuck here?" "What are you talking about!?" shouts Randy; "It's too soon to give up!" "But, come on..." says Zephel, "we haven't got the slightest clue as to how to get home yet." "Yes, we have," claims Randy; "we just haven't put them together yet."
"This is it," announces the Wanderer suddenly; "This is the boundary of the white mist. Take care not to become swallowed up by it." Marcel is entranced by the beauty of the endless white and has to be abruptly pulled back: "Watch out!" says the Courser; "Didn't he say to be careful?! Such a mischievous ojou-chan for such a pretty face...what? You're a man?" "Oscar-sama!" exclaims Marcel. "Geez," muses Randy, "he's even a quick operator here." "What?" exclaims the Courser. The Wanderer laughs: "They seem to be quite familiar with a you from another world." "What are you talking about?" sniffs the Courser; "a man like myself is one of a kind." "That's what you think," whispers Marcel. "Sure would like to pit one against the other," sneers Zephel.
The Wanderer explains matters to the Courser and asks if he can take one of the boys aloft to search for any clues as to a way home. The Courser quickly agrees. Marcel suddenly notices, however, that Randy has disappeared. "Oh, yeah," says Zephel, completely unconcerned, "he was wandering toward that cliff over there just before." "What?! No--" exclaims the Courser, dashing to Randy's last whereabouts. Zephel suddenly notices something himself - "Hey - does that guy have wings on his back!?" "They allow him to move more quickly than anyone else in this land," explains the Wanderer. "That is why he is called the Courser." [The liner notes specify that they are more akin to eagle's wings than those of the typical angel.] The Courser flies back with Randy in his arms - who has now become comatose and unresponsive. Marcel screams at Randy to open his eyes, but it's no use.
Zephel demands to know what happened; the Courser explains: "He ventured into a place where the current is swift. One more step, and he would've gone under." "Is he asleep?" asks the Wanderer. "He looks almost as if..." "Yes," affirms the Courser, and Zephel, genuinely sad and horrified, desperately demands to know - "he's just sleeping, isn't he?!" "Boy," says
Oscar the Courser, "once someone falls into the Perfect Sleep, they never wake up. Do you understand?" The Wanderer elaborates: "You have no way of knowing this, coming from your world, but...once you are taken by the white mist, you fall into an eternal sleep."
Marcel panics and refuses to believe this, shrieking at Randy to open his eyes. Zephel joins in with insults. The Courser tries to console: "I'm so sorry, but--" "There is a way to save him," interrupts the Wanderer. "This boy - he is the Healer." "Me?" says Marcel. "How?" insists Zephel. The Wanderer sighs: "...I don't know." "Hey," warns the Courser, "you're not making sense," but Marcel interrupts: "I'll do it."
Zephel thinks that now Marcel's the one not making sense, but Marcel explains: "I saw some restorative herbs in the meadows. There's also a fruit in this land that is supposed to make an unparalleled medicine." "From the Tree of Jewels?" Yes, Marcel says, asking the Courser to take him to the meadows and Tree. The Courser agrees, cautioning Marcel to hold on tight, and takes off. Zephel watches them leave: "Heh. When it gets right down to it, he does have some real guts, doesn't he." He then turns to the Wanderer: "Hey, Clavis-alike. You look down. Something wrong?" "...It's nothing," says the Wanderer, obviously lying.
Marcel and the Courser return: "Sorry I'm late! How's Randy?" Zephel, near tears, confirms that he hasn't opened his eyes: "Jackass! Always a %#%$ing nuisance! If this doesn't wake him up, I'll kill him myself!" "He'll wake up. I'm sure of it," assures the Wanderer; "with hearts like these so strongly pulling for him, he has to."
Night 4: The Door to the Labyrinth
"White," says Randy in his dream state: "White as far as the eye can see. Am I...in the mist right now? Suddenly lost in a strange world, where a white mist surrounds the land like an ocean...washing onto its shores in waves. It threatens to engulf everything... The mist holds the secret to this land...and I wanted to touch it..."
"But it was warm and gentle...moreso than I had imagined. Yes...as if it were embracing my very soul."
In his mind, Randy gasps: "...That's it. I've got it! I know what the mist is - I know where this is!"
We cut to the world of mist, where an old friend makes an entrance: "Hel-loooo! How's our patient?" Zephel, who was absent for the visit to the Tree of Jewels, expresses the usual surprise at the familiar face, and He Who Is Fulfilled snaps a reminder that Zephel is not in his own world. Randy and Marcel give thanks for the medicinal fruit, and HWIF is pleased: "So you've already got your spirit back! I'm glad!" Zephel offers more insults for Randy, and Randy offers apologies, but also a discovery: "But when I touched the white mist, I somehow got a feeling that I had solved the mystery of this world!" Marcel marvels at the statement, but is interrupted by the Courser, who has returned with "quite a rare guest" - the Guide. "Ones from another world," says the Guide, "it looks as if you've gone through a considerable trial." Randy explains that he was swallowed by the mist due to his own carelessness. "'Carelessness,' you say. I wonder... Incidentally, where is the Wanderer?" The Courser: "He said he was headed for the lake." HWIF: "He had something he wanted to talk about, so he said."
The Guide takes this in, then turns to the young Guardians:
GUIDE: Travelers, listen well. We ourselves know nothing beyond this land of mist. Even so, we do understand that we are trapped here.
HWIF: Come, now - does this crazy world seem natural to you? Of course, it suits me just fine, but...
RANDY: So, what you're saying is that this world is a construct?
GUIDE: Yes. We are in all probability not real, but figments of someone's mind.
Randy thanks the Guide for his words: "I know they were probably hard to say. You're called 'the Guide' because of your strong heart, aren't you? ...You're that way in our world, too." Randy then drags his two friends to an undisclosed destination - where, he says, the solution to this mystery lies.
THIEF: You've been staring at the lake. Something on your mind?
WANDERER: Thief. ...I've been thinking about the visitors from another world. I...I feel as if I know them somehow...
THIEF: Probably so, hm? After all, none can enter here who is a stranger to you.
WANDERER: ...What...what do you know? Tell me! What is this world......what am I...?
THIEF: It is not my place to tell you that.
WANDERER: Well, then, who?
ILLUMINATOR: Ah! I thought you'd be here!
The Illuminator has come with Randy, Marcel, and Zephel. Marcel's attention is caught by the lake: "It's just like the one in the forest in the Holy Land!" Zephel sees it too, now that Marcel has mentioned it. Randy apologizes for being a burden to the Wanderer before; the Wanderer is just glad Randy's well now. Randy: "Certainly - thanks to you wishing me well." The Wanderer laughs: "Not at all - it was the Healer who made you well." "The Healer?!" exclaims Randy; "You mean Marcel? And then Zephel here must have been the Striver, right? I wonder what I was here?" The Thief reflects that a person's counterpart in this world seems to disappear once "the real thing" appears; he turns to the Wanderer and asks if he can remembers the answer to Randy's question. "After all," says the Thief, "you are the master of this world and its inhabitants."
The Wanderer is shocked. "Me...? Your master? What makes you say..." Randy explains: "It was what I felt when I was enveloped by the mist - a deep peace in an endless void. That is the power of Darkness that is your domain, isn't it?" "I've noticed it several times myself," says the Illuminator; "that you, despite the deep fear you held in your heart, were wielding a great power to bind this world together with the mist." The Wanderer is taken aback in horror, but the Illuminator continues: "I don't mean to hurt you. Please forgive me. I just think...that you might be helping these travelers if you realized the truth."
The Wanderer turns away to contemplate this. The Thief breaks in: "Somewhere, in their different world, these boys are none other than some people very precious to you. ...Let's send them home." "......That's right......you're..." "Clavis-sama!" exclaims Marcel, and the "Wanderer" returns: "......that is my name......"
The boys are elated. Clavis turns to his Illuminator if his words were indeed intended to help his fellow Guardians get home. Illuminator: "That...that was my only intention." Clavis chokes up ever so slightly: "You always light the way to the future. If only I could follow you..." The Thief offers: "Everyone will help. Look underneath the tree there, in the shade." The Guide has come (along with a squabbling Courser and He Who Is Fulfilled). "Let me see this through," he asks, and Clavis quietly replies, "...yes....yes, I think I understand now."
The lake begins to glisten. The Thief calls it some sort of "divine revelation" and tells them to take their chance to leave. The Guardians approach the lake...to find the image of the Holy Land reflected on its surface. "Is this...this is the world in which I live...?" Clavis wonders. "Yes...then this land of white mist...this was also my world." The SFX suggest that Clavis's second creation is falling apart, and the Courser urges them again to leave. "Huh? Through the water?" Zephel balks, but Randy reminds him there's no time to dither. Randy turns to thank the others, but He Who Is Fulfilled chides him for being so formal - "we're not strangers, you know!" Marcel: "Right! We love you all - in any world!" The Illuminator thanks them and urges them to hurry; the three boys dive into the lake...and fetch up within the Holy Land.
Where Olivie is bathing, apparently, who is none too happy about the intrusion, but little matter; the three boys joyously celebrate their return. Marcel narrates the boys' feelings as they come back "with hearts filled with relief at returning to our precious Sanctuary - and a little sadness, too. Farewell...white labyrinth."
Two things before we continue:
1) There's a (un)LoveLove track in the early Soiree CD where Clavis speaks of his heart while he was with Angelique #255 as "a dark labyrinth...that rendered me a pitiful figure insatiable in its search for love." Marcel's benediction of Clavis's mental space as a "white labyrinth" is an interesting, perhaps intentional contrast.
2) Angelique has had is share of stories over the years dealing with Clavis's horrible past and its fallout. Given, though, Clavis's piteous internal creation in this CD of a happy world where Lumiale, his main font of emotional support and taken-for-granted constant, is this awesome defender and warrior of light
who wears partially sheer clothing, his old friend is this exalted thing kept high on a mountaintop in a holy shrine, and the man who has taken his place in the latter's sights is this fearsome creature all in black who spirits - steals - people away - I've never felt the man's loneliness more acutely than I did here.
There actually is an epilogue. Lumiale rushes to Clavis's manor, worried after not seeing him in his office all day, and finds Clavis asleep. ("Thank goodness," says Lumi, "he's alive.") Clavis awakes, and Lumiale asks him to eat before he becomes ill. Clavis sighs in gratitude: "I'm so sorry to have worried you...Illuminator." Yes, Clavis, though returned from his labyrinth, has retained the Wanderer's happy, well-adjusted personality.
Lumiale, panicked, races to Olivie's mansion to beseech help with Clavis: "For some reason, all of a sudden, he...he...he's CHEERFUL!!!" (Randy, Marcel, and Zephel are there as well, repairing the damage done to Olivie's bathroom when they returned.) The boys quickly grasp what's happened, but a floored Olivie is not going to miss out on this...*stuff*, and demands to know where Clavis is so he can rush on over. Lumi responds in a low, horrified voice: "He's at his manor...enjoying his dinner!!"
Everyone arrives at Clavis's manor, and Olivie warns them to steel themselves before going in, but before they can enter, Clavis opens the door from inside. "Everyone - I'm so glad you're here!", and no one has been more frightened of Clavis than this moment. "I saw you coming through the window, and I wanted to greet you. Have I done something wrong?" When Lumi asks about his dinner, he says he's finished it all up, and invites everyone in for postprandial coffee.
OLIVIE: HAI, HAI, HAAAAIII! A question for Clavis-sama! What's with all the smiling and talking all of a sudden?!
CLAVIS: [laughs] Oh, yes! Well, I just realized...that I wasn't alone.
MARCEL: Zephel! Such manners!
CLAVIS: Oh, please don't worry. The happiness of you children is my foremost consideration.
ZEPHEL: W...who're you callin' a child!?
CLAVIS: Oh...oh, I'm sorry. I never meant to offend. Will you forgive me?
ZEPHEL [in small, panicky voice]: Ah...it...it's nothing! I'm not mad, really!
CLAVIS: [smiles] Thank you, Zephel!
LUMIALE: That's my Clavis-sama!
Well, it's about time we subjected Julious to this, isn't it? Mr. Guardian of Light, in the meanwhile, has gotten some technobabble report from Ernst about a disturbance due to the formation of the new cosmos that has centered itself in Clavis's and Zephel's mansions. (Randy and Marcel were over at Zephel's watching "movie discs," during which all three fell asleep, if you care about how this thing got set into motion.) He pops into our coffee party with Oscar and Luva and demands to know where Clavis was all day.
CLAVIS: Ah, I had been meaning to apologize for that. I had fallen asleep until Lumiale was kind enough to come by. Ha...some Guardian I am, pulling something so inexcusable! I have every intention of returning to my post. Please forgive me.
RANDY: You think he's gonna be all right?
MARCEL: I...don't think so...
OSCAR: --Julious-sama! Julious-sama! Pull yourself together!
JULIOUS: ...[choke]...C-Clavis...forget about it... Get a good night's sleep... Take a break until you're completely well.
CLAVIS: --Wait...It's not that I'm ill--
JULIOUS: --YOU NEED A BREAK!...I'll approve it! ...Lumiale...stay with him for as long as you can...please.
LUMIALE: Of course. I don't mind at all, but...
JULIOUS: --Good. ...I'm going back. Let's go, Oscar!
Luva stays behind to note how good it is to see Clavis's smile again. Clavis then apologizes to Luva for worrying him; Luva begs off that he's fine (laughing nervously like he's being held at gunpoint by a kidnapper), but Julious might not be so lucky. This gives Clavis pause; perhaps he hasn't had enough regard for Julious's welfare. What he needs, clearly, is another apology. Clavis gets up to leave (telling everyone else to take their time and enjoy themselves); Lumiale rushes to join him.
On the way to Julious's, Clavis begins a conversation.
CLAVIS: I'm so sorry you're stuck with me.
LUMIALE: Please don't be. I have a feeling for some reason that I shouldn't leave your side right now.
CLAVIS [softly laughing]: ...Aren't you a worrywart!
LUMIALE: Worry is only natural when you're Clavis-sama's friend.
CLAVIS: [laughs] Such harsh words! But...I suppose I deserve them.
LUMIALE: ...I thought it would perhaps be better not to ask, but I find I can't stop myself. Clavis-sama, you've undergone a big change as of late. Why is that, may I ask?
CLAVIS: ...[sigh]...I'm sorry, Lumiale. I don't understand it myself. That is, I can't say which is the real me - which is the self that is dreaming, and which is the self that is awake. Perhaps the me that's existed until now has been one long reverie - or perhaps tonight has been just a sweet dream.
LUMIALE: ......A dream......to think this is all a dream...if so, I can only hope that, whatever comes, we can spend it smiling!
CLAVIS: ...You're always so strong! I could never even pretend to have such strength.
LUMIALE: Not at all. Neither strength nor weakness are drawn solely from oneself. It is perhaps the fate of both you and me to continue living together as part of the Sanctuary.
CLAVIS: "Destiny?" That's not quite the word for it, is it, Lumiale?
LUMIALE: [smiles]...I suppose!
They arrive at Julious's manor, where -
JULIOUS: ! ...Clavis!...I gave you explicit instructions to rest!
CLAVIS: Forgive the intrusion. I came all this way to apologize.
JULIOUS: ...Apologize? ...To me?
CLAVIS: Yes! I've spent all this time so hating life; if you've felt the need to incite me to action through harsh words, then it's my fault that I haven't responded.
JULIOUS: .........Clavis......what are you...
Perhaps it's the music here, but Clavis begins to speak more quickly and urgently:
CLAVIS: I want you to make this clear to you. That's why, from now on, I'll--
Suddenly, a great power takes hold of Clavis. He falls to his knees.
JULIOUS: Clavis! What's wrong?! Stay with me!
CLAVIS [in normal, deadened voice]: ......It's nothing.
CLAVIS: Leave me alone. I'm going back.
Clavis starts off, sparing only a word to Lumiale to move away from an open window before he catches cold. Everyone is somber. While there's a final scene with Clavis and Randy the next day that's supposed to be life-affirming, it's perhaps more appropriate to end with Lumiale's final words:
LUMIALE: ...Clavis-sama...so tonight...was just a dream after all.
The CD booklet has some short character profiles, as well as a bit of other miscellaneous information.
A hermit who makes his home on the side of the Grey Mountain. His duty is to burn smoke to extinguish the White Mist.
A holy warrior, wielder of the Bow of Spiritual Power, who dwells at the foot of the mountain. Strong-willed man who fights to protect others.
[Note: with the kanji used, the "hiraku" in the original Japanese ("Hiraku Mono") is more strictly translated as "to clear out land" or "to open a path," so the character's name might be translated as "Pathfinder" or "Pathmaker." I've chosen "Illuminator," though, as a) while the other "hiraku" might be more suitable for a warrior in the original Japanese, there is a homophone with the different kanji and the exact meaning of "to illuminate (spiritually)" that could not, given the origins or Lumiale's name, have been far from the writers' minds, and b) I feel the use of "hiraku" to open up a path in the spiritual sense is more appropriate here. Plus, it sounds like Terminator-Lumi - "the Illuminator."]
A lofty man who dwells on steep Azure Peak. Calm and still; gives the impression of being a sage.
An intelligent man who lives in the deep forest. So called due to his unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
He Who Is Fulfilled
Lives atop the Slumbering Tree of Jewels. Has a free heart and a content soul.
Lives on the Veiled Cliffs at the edge of the white mist. Has eagle's wings on his back.
Kindly physician who dwells in the meadows.
Youth who lives with the wolves in the desert.
[The "kawaku" in "Kawaku Mono," the original Japanese, means more literally "to thirst," an allusion to his desert home.]
The Supplicant [This is Randy's analogue.]
Youth who wanders the wilderness in meditation.
We're all familiar with the usual suspects, but I thought the obligatory character profiles were interesting enough to include this time around:
Kind-hearted boy fond of all living things. Finds himself lost in an unknown world (henceforth "the Land of White Mist").
Optimistic, lively boy who tries to solve the mystery of the Land of the White Mist.
Boy who's an eternal rebel. Kind at heart; Randy's frequent friendly sparring partner.
Apathetic and unsociable by nature. Usually shuns the company of others.
Gentle and quiet, with an inner strength. Frequently worries over and looks after Clavis.
Gentle man possessing a wide range of knowledge. Easygoing by nature; warm and greatly beloved.
Vibrant, cheerful free spirit. Has a nurturing side.
Head of the Guardians; a man of great dignity. Frustrated by Clavis's attitude.
Macho, proactive man. Respects Julious.
A map at the beginning of the CD traces the boys' journey, naming each locale: from the Grey Mountain, to the Evergreen Fields in the Valley of Violet, to the Moving Forest, to the Slumbering Tree of Jewels, to the Black Desert (which has quicksand, somewhere), to Azure Peak, to the Veiled Cliffs, and finally to the Mirror's Depths (the lake). Above the Evergreen Fields lie the Hills of Lapis, where the Supplicant dwells. (Clavis has pretty names for his headspace; he oughta be a real estate agent. A narcoleptic real estate agent, but still.)