“What the hell is this?”
Kai Ozu anxiously looked around the unfamiliarly gloomy and fiery surroundings as he tried to make a call with his MagiPhone. When he got nothing but with static, he dropped the call and he placed his phone back in a pocket under his Magitopian robe. That was his ninth attempt. He wrinkled his forehead and kicked a pebble into a clump of scattered bones on the ground. He sat uneasily on a rock and fiercely swept the fringes of his hair with his fingers. He picked up his phone once more. Still, without results.
Instead of keeping his phone, he pressed some buttons and said, “Magiiro Magika!” The spell quickly sharpened his senses and he used this to look around for a potential exit. There was none. With his supernatural sight, he just realized what the place is made of; what he thought of as mountain ridges a while ago came clearly into view and are revealed as floating islands adorned with gigantic skeletons and tentacles. He looked down and noticed that after two or three steps, he would have fallen off the island. I will not move, yet I'll stand still instead.
“A Marudeyouna world?” He wondered as he took a few steps back. He sat on the rock and contemplated about his situation.
How did he get here, really? It all began in Kedomono Realm, where he found a boulder engraved with a magic circle that is neither Madou nor Magitopian. It’s hindering their road construction but Hades Goddess Sphinx advised against making direct contact with it.
“Maybe we can get rid of it by magic?” Kai replied.
“Let’s not rush in. It would be more prudent to steer clear from it until we find out what it is. We’ll reroute the roads and cover this area instead to prevent anyone else’s access.”
She left Kai to himself but the young magician felt more curious. He felt a strange temptation as he stared at the seal and impulsively, he started tracing the pentagram with his fingers. Before he could even finish tracing a single stroke, he accidentally pricked his finger on a sharp pebble. He immediately pulled his fingers away but he already bled on it. Kai’s blood burst into flames and it spread to the rest of the insculpted design.
The last thing Kai remembered is the sigil crumbling and revealing a portal to which he was pulled into.
Suddenly, a familiar sound rang into the magician’s enhanced ear. Cataclop, cataclop, cataclop.
Horse hooves? Kai thought as he started hearing a sound that seems to be getting louder and nearer. Giant metallic horse hooves! He added to his observation. Like two empty large steel canisters being banged together. The clash of iron can be heard.
That might be Varikion or Unigolon. A new hope dawned on Kai as the sound led him to believe that his equine allies came looking for him. Their ability to cross dimensions is really useful for this kind of situation. Though as the sound loudens, he realized that it’s coming from only a single steed. “No problem with that. I just need one horse to get me out of here.” The source of the sound was still too far away for him to see even with his augmented eyes but he was confident that it’s one of them.
But as the horse came closer, he noticed something
Ka-boom! Ka-blam! Ka-shh!
"Explosions?" Apparently, the hoofed creature was bumping into and breaking some objects in that dimension. Is it trying to find its way out, too? Kai became curious.
But he had to set aside his curiosity as the horse rapidly approached. He saw it coming his way and with it in sight, he construed its features. It was about as large as his horses. Its exterior was of dirty silver formed from overlapping padded metals and its “mane” and “tail” were actually tongues of fire that were erupting from its crest and dock respectively; Its eye sockets also burned with such fire in lieu of solid eyes and his hooves left behind burning footprints. It had a horn on its forehead and therefore, “a unicorn like Unigolon.” Kai said as he brought out his phone and pressed on its keys, preparing to cast a spell.
“Maagi Magi Magi Magiiro! Chou Mahou Henshin!”. With that, he directly transformed into his Legend Mode without going through his basic MagiRed form. And another as he pressed 3 on his DialRod, “Maagi Golu Majuulu!”, he transformed into MagiFirebird, a phoenix-like metallic beast with flaming wings. He flew to another island and watched the creature.
Its body was fully engulfed in flames as it dashed towards pentagrams, breaking them and making the exploding sounds he heard earlier. He did the same with some flying imps blocking his way. He also noticed that the unicorn can jump in mid-air, perhaps because of the absurd properties of the dimension. It was all going well until the unicorn, without sufficient momentum for his dash, exploded with the pentagram he smashed into. A shattered body deeply hurt. He looked on with regret as he saw the unicorn’s broken body dissipating. And darkness will cover the light. It's gone forevermore.
“Magiine!” He untransformed and leaned back on a rock for a few minutes. But once again, he heard horse hooves. “Another horse?” He thought. But as it came into view, he noticed that it looked the same with the previous horse. It did similar things the last one did. But like the last, it met its doom as it fell into the abyss.
It appeared for the third time. His gut feeling told him that it’s just the same horse, going back to life after every failure. It’s going to happen again. He thought. It will chase its demise and relive the horror in a vicious cycle... for eternity. But he felt that it’s not going to give up. He felt pity for the poor creature but he also felt admiration for its determination. After seeing it fail for the third time, he decided that if it ever shows up again, he’ll try to befriend it. He wasn’t sure how they’ll communicate but he trusted his instincts. “I need to try.”
As expected, it showed up again. As it galloped towards the island where Kai rests at, Kai threw himself on its way. He transformed into Legend Mode again. As the unicorn closed in, he cast, “Jinga Majuna!”. A barrier formed around them, entrapping the steed. It tried to break away but Kai exerted more of his magical energy.
“Please listen to me. I need your help and I think you need mine, too.” He leaped at its muzzle and grabbed it by its horn. “We need to work together.”
Work… together… who are… you? A sepulchral, yet shaky, voice reverberated in Kai’s psyche. He exerted more effort as he confirmed that they can communicate.
“I’m a magician.”
It tossed him away into the barrier’s wall and looked him in the eye. How c-c-can... I trust… you?
Kai didn’t respond immediately but he stood and walked towards the metallic unicorn.
No… don’t come… any… closer!
But Kai was persistent. He stared up the giant creature’s blazing eyes.
“Sorry for impolitely capturing you but we need to get out of here. I’m taking you with me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Kai shouted at the unicorn. “Our strengths merged together will achieve something beyond what we try to do by ourselves.”
Their sights were locked on with each other, neither of them saying anything for a few moments. Then the unicorn lowered its head and folded its legs.
As you wish…
With its permission, Kai climbed at its back.
Hope dawned again on Kai. With wholehearted trust despite being strangers, they rode away to their escape. “I’m Kai Ozu, the red magician of the burning fire element. Let’s get along well.”
With Kai’s magical aid, Ruahm’s abilities improved. His leaps became higher and with improved strength, it became easier for him to plow through pentagrams. As days passed and as they went farther, new hindrances unlike what they went through appeared. Larger demons chased after them and the floating islands moved violently as they scrambled among each other.
“Ruahm, what are these?”
I’ve… never gone this far before.
“No other choice. We should fight!” He transformed into MagiFirebird once again and attacked the assaulting demons. He hovered atop Ruahm and flung flames from his wings towards their pursuers. Ruahm charged on and tossed several demons aside.
“WE WILL NOT GIVE UP!”
Suddenly, both Kai and Ruahm were engulfed by bright flames.
What’s this? The unicorn felt a sudden surge of power within him.
“Ruahm, this is a new spell that resulted from our cooperation.”
Our combined strength… is good!
“Let’s do this!” Kai perched at Ruahm’s back. “Magiiro Magiiro Goludiiro Gonga! When Courage and Friendship become Magic, the Emperor of War appears. Miracle Fusion~Kriegskaiser!” With that spell, Ruahm’s body stood upright and unfolded into a humanoid shape with Ruahm’s head pointing downward from its torso. Its proportions are similar to FireKaiser’s and SaintKaiser’s but a visage like MagiLegend’s. With MagiFirebird on his back, their form looked like a winged metallic warrior.
“Coming through!” Their synchronized voices roared as they cut a swath, running over demons as they passed through. They flew above their adversaries and with wings spread across, released bright torrents of flames that engulfed the entire dimension. Into one glorious explosion, the hellish realm crumbled with the imps inhabiting it.
Kai, wake up. Kai…
Kai opened his eyes and looked around him. He was back where he used to be before the portal sucked him in. He looked up and saw Ruahm… who is now the size of a regular horse. His body is now made of flesh and fur and his tail and mane radiated a multicolored light. His voice became softer and a lot more pleasant.
We’ve escaped. Thank you very much for setting me free. I was a nature spirit forced into imprisonment for thousands of years by a demon I subdued. The sum of our powers made the dimension collapse.
“So this is your true form?” Kai sat down and Ruahm allowed him to rub his muzzle.
Yes. Harmony has been restored and now I can wander freely once more.
Ruahm nudged a small cluster of Kai’s long hair and breathed on it. His hair gained some streaks of red. He pulled them towards his sight as he wondered what it is for.
That is a pledge of our friendship. It connects us and if you'd need my help one day, focus and call my name. I must go now.
With that farewell, Ruahm galloped and left behind a rainbow-colored trail, before disappearing in a flash.
“Thank you! See you soon!” Kai waved goodbye. “Now I must apologize to Sphinx about my absence.”
Coincidentally, Sphinx came to the area and heard what Kai said. “Absence? What absence?”
“Ah… I was gone for too long. I’m sorry.” Kai said as he lowered and scratched his head.
“I don’t understand, Kai. It’s been only an hour since we last saw each other.”
“I-Is that so?!” Kai said with shock. Time must have passed differently in that dimension. “Ah… I… I mean I must apologize that I’d take a leave of absence… and… I’d be gone for a long time.” He sighed with a relief.
For a moment, Sphinx was silent but she later replied, “Oh, it’s about your family reunion. Right?”
“Y-yes.” Kai replied sheepishly. ”I feel that I’m being rude by leaving the work to you.”
“Don’t mind about it.”
“What are you waiting for? Go! Your parents and siblings are waiting for you. Have a nice break.”
Kai bowed lightly with a smile and left Sphinx to herself.
Sphinx was about to leave too until she noticed the boulder, with the symbol no longer present. She only nodded and looked at the direction Kai went to. “That kid…” She sighed and left to resume her activities.