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A note from rainbow knights

white sword #1

Just like that, it became winter. All of the leaves fell from the trees. The grass withered and died. In the garden the flowers wilted and the lake froze. Still, the fish endured it and continued to swim under the surface in lazy meandering circles. The chill in the air was almost unnoticeable, though clearly present and fierce, as ice and snow clung to the ground. The sun rose late, and cast longer shadows, turning everything into a melancholy darkness. It matched Siegfried's mood, but didn't improve it. It didn't exactly make it worse either, and despite the darkness, he was thankful for that much.

He didn't expect to feel better just because of the scenery, however. Siegfried thought that maybe this year, this year would be different. Siegfried refounded the Rainbow Knights. Siegfried claimed the White Sword as his own. He'd saved the Kingdom from a Dark Wizard and led his people faithfully.

And yet… Siegfried felt no different. He felt… he felt as if he accomplished nothing. That he still had done nothing to honor his father, or himself. TheWhite Sword might have have been at his hip, but he wasn't attuned with it like Reicket. He might have saved people from the Dark Wizard, but he hadn't come close to capturing him. He couldn't handle a single enemy alone either. He had to depend so much on Gilsa, on Reicket, it was almost pointless.

After ten years it was the same as five. After ten years he felt the same as one. As if his father's legacy was unreachable. That he could never measure up to such greatness. Even with the White Sword in his hands, he still felt as if it was impossible for him to possess it truly, to wield it as a true Rainbow Knight as his father did, to be a respected and great King. His father not only had the Whtie Sword, but commanded it, he had the armor for it, he fought for himself independently, and when his father was alive the world still had color and even with the White Sword in his hands, Siegfried had nothing.

Even as the sun rose, and the darkness fell away, all that was left was a dark gray sky.

"Siegfried! There you are!"

Siegfried stood half-way up from the bench, turning away from the pond. "Oh, Reicket. Did-"

"Me and Gilsa were looking for you everywhere." Reicket shouted, walking over confidently. "It's like, half an hour passed training, and we didn't see you at breakfast either. Gilsa is super mad." Reicket gave a teasing smile.

Siegfrid stood, but his eyes darted down and his stomach sank. "He's not too mad is he?"

"Huh? Hey, I was teasing." Reicket came over suddenly concerned, "He's not mad. He's not mad, we were just looking for you. What's wrong?"

"No, I'm just sorry. For missing practice." Siegfried lied, pushing his shoulder blades together to stand up straight. "Where's Gilsa?"

Reicket walked around the bench to look at Siegfried head-on, staring straight into his face. "Hang on, did you sleep? You look disgusting."

"Hey-" Siegfried tried to step back but his knees hit the bench, "I - I slept."

"You're lying, you stutter when you lie, what's wrong?" Reicket pressed, "Are you okay?"

"Thank you for worrying," Siegfried recited hollowly, "But I'm-"

"I suppose I should've looked in the garden first." Gilsa interrupted, closing the glass door far behind them. He came a bit closer and lit the light post. "Good morning Siegfried, how are you?"

Siegfried turned to greet him, but ended up staring at him blankly instead.

"He's sick, I think." Reicket decided, "Look, his face is pale."

Siegfried listened to his friends worry about him, and was able to breathe easier. He felt lighter, more capable almost, with them there. It was easier to forget about last year, and the year before that, and focus on what they'd done.

"I think you should sit, Siegfried." Gilsa gently suggested, and gave Reicket a clear look to shut his mouth. "You'll feel better that way."

He sat down and sighed, eyes turning back to the frozen lake. "I'm sorry… for missing practice."

"It's alright. There wasn't practice today anyway." Gilsa crossed his arms and looked at the frozen lake too. "It's a holiday, after all."

"But we practiced on Quartz's day." Reicket said, and he opened his mouth to say something else, but his tongue was cut out by Gilsa's glare.

"Today…" Gilsa glanced toward Siegfried, "today, there shouldn't be any fighting. It's a morning holiday."

Reicket pouted a bit, then got over it. "Yeah, I guess now. Especially since Siegfried isn't feeling well." Reicket smiled and sat down quickly next to him.

Siegfried found the strength to smile back. "I'm actually feeling better now. A bit."

"It's okay if you want to go back to bed and be unbothered. " Gilsa replied softly, "I'll make sure no one makes themselves a nusicene."

"No, I'm fine. There's no meetings for me today, and you two aren't nusicences." Siegfried fidgeted with his hands, scratching at the long parts of his finger nails. "It's just… I can't help being so - so uneasy today."

"What for?" Reicket asked, "Is that why you didn't sleep well?"

Siegfried felt Gilsa bristle in anger next to him, and knew he was about to say something wonderful and thoughtful because that was the type of person he was, except Siegfried felt melancholy and in the mood to talk so instead he spoke first. "The culprit is - who ever they are - have never been caught. I…" Siegfried rubbed his tired eyes, "I can't sleep, because of that. Even though it's been ten years."

Reicket nodded slowly, a type of recognition dawning on his face, even though he was still confused. He kept silent after Siegfried spoke, though listened intently and leaned toward his friend. Gilsa sat down beside him silently.

"I'm sorry." Reicket finally said, sounding incredibly remorseful, "And, I'm sorry, that you can't sleep."

Siegfried had a small comforted grin. "It's okay. It was… worse, when I was younger. I remembered it better. Now it's all just… darkness."

"Did you see it?" Reicket gasped, and then physically covered his mouth, glancing in horror at Siegfried and Gilsa.

All Siegfried could do for a moment was nod.

Gilsa stayed silent too, and then gave a hateful glare toward Reicket, who desperately tried to look apologetic. After shutting Reicket up Gilsa gently put a hand on Siegfried back.

"I'm sure your father's spirit, and all of the Rainbow Knights, are resting peacefully in our Goddess' Mercy. He would have been proud, I know, for you to be wielding his Sword."

Siegfried leaned into Gilsa's hand and closed his eyes against a rising tide of loathing. "I don't know if…. I saw his murderer, covered in blood, that snow-filled night, and I can't remember their face. I've never even discovered who it could be. Ten years… and not once have I gotten close to avenging his death and honoring my father."

"Siegfried…" Reicket emphatically called, placing a hand over his, "I'm sorry, for saying that - you don't have to talk about it. Like Gilsa said - or no - well, what I mean is that, even if you don't do all that, at least your father loved you very, very much, you know?"

"I… hope." Siegfried spitefully said, "I can't even remember my father, because of that night. Everything, when I try to recall it is just - darkness. And even now-" Siegfried look up to the gray and white sky "-there's just darkness. For me, it's like - it's almost like - like -" Siegfried closed his eyes, but he was already on the verge of tears, and trying to put in words the evil tide of feelings within made his throat swell to silence.

"It's alright! Siegfried!" Reicket shouted, throwing an arm around him in a hug, "We're here to help! We'll support you! Always."

Siegfried nodded, his tears falling as he did, and he pressed his palms against his cheeks to wipe away the tears. He nodded helplessly again, because he felt those words in his bones, understood them to his core. When Gilsa also leaned against him, Siegfried didn't bother holding back his tears or words.

"I was the only one who saw it. I'm the only one who can avenge him, and I can't remember anything about it at all. Even with the White Sword, it doesn't matter because there's no way - I'll never know. No one will ever - and it's all my fault too! Even if I am King, even if I become the White Knight, even if there's peace or war - this one thing - this most important thing - won't - ever -"

"That's not true!" Reicket interrupted, "We're the Rainbow Knights! We're your friends! With those two things, there's nothing we can't do!" He smiled and hugged Siegfried tighter. "So, don't be sad. We'll do it."

"I think so too." Gilsa replied, "Ten years or a hundred years, we will bring the assassin to justice."

"How?!" Siegfried cried, taking a quick and sharp breath.

Reicket paused to think, "Well… well, to start, they would have to be super-crazy-incredibly strong, right? Because - you know -" Reicket paused and made his voice more mournful "they didn't just defeat your father, but all the Rainbow Knights." Then quieter, almost to himself, Reicket repeated the words. "Super, crazy, incredibly strong."

"There's no one like that in the whole world - no one can stand up to my father with the full force of the Rainbow Knights. It's impossible." Siegifred calmed down slightly as he thought.

Gilsa rubbed a calming circle into Siegfried's back. "Regardless of strength, it would also be impossible for someone to come into the Crystal Palace without... the Goddess'... blessing." He slowly finished, shocked at his own revelation.

"There's no one who can do that!" Siegfried cried again, his heart clenching at the impossibility of the facts. "That's why it's impossible, that's why I know I'll never figure it out."

"A Rainbow Knight could." Reicket realized, pulling away from Siegfried as he looked to Gilsa's horrified face. "A Rainbow Knight could do all those things."

Siegfried ripped away from his friends, standing boldly so he could scream at them. "Are you saying the Rainbow Knights betrayed each other?! That's a lie! No one would betray my father! It's impossible! It didn't happen! I saw him!" Siegfried pressed a hand to his chest, trying to calm his beating heart, to convey to them how deeply he felt about this. His heart was racing as he spoke, and his face burned with tears and his head pounded with blood. He felt almost sick at the idea, his head hurting and vision blurring as he shouted at his friend

"I saw him! That night! It wasn't a Rainbow Knight, it wasn't anyone! I saw them! I did, I saw…" Siegfried gasped, his heart clenching in pain, in grievance, in self hatred, worry and fear.

"I - I didn't mean to accuse anything." Reicket quickly said, trying to comfort him, and desperately looking at Gilsa to fix this.

Gilsa leapt to his feet even before Reicket had finished speaking. He reached out to Siegfried as his voice trailed off, just able to grab hold of him as Siegifred's eyes fluttered closed and he began to fall suddenly. Reicket gasped and jumped up to help, but Gilsa already help Siegfried strongly as he fainted.

"I'm sorry! I didn't mean - I didn't mean-"

"Help me lie him down." Gilsa calmly said, though his voice sounded deep and upet.


Siegfried was running. Around him the world was white. Endless, without a seam on the horizon. White, white sky, white snow. His feet trudged forward, he had to lift up his feet high to get through the snow, to push through the whiteness that drowned him, and flared out the world. He was moving toward something - something - there in the distance. A single circle of red. Blood. A drop that was a pool, a huge one that spread and began to bleed into the snow, the heat of the blood melting the snow into a messy puddle. Siegfried stopped running, his feet slowing down as he stepped slowly closer to the blood, the white broken glass, and as he did his entire body froze solid with fear. A terrible horrific foreboding grabbed his arms, and legs, choked him and held him in place. Unending evil darkness blasted over his head, massive black tendrils clawing away at the whiteness and ripping it to shreds of black nothingness. It wrapped around the sky and ground, and around him the snow built up higher as he didn't move, falling around him in huge mounds. Siegfried tried to move, to force his legs to keep running from that darkness and through the snow before it could bury him, except he couldn't. He couldn't move his legs, so he desperately reached out a hand as the darkness caught him, the snow buried him, both pulling him down and crushing his heart, and Siegfried desperately held out his hand to escape. The single drop of blood in the distance was there still, and somehow it wasn't blood anymore. It was a person, a man, who turned around slowly, growing large and darker and more red, covered head to toe in blood and darkness, and they turned around to face Siegfried as the darkness grew and grew-

"Hello there, my little coward."

Siegfried gasped, choking on his breath and shot forward, his hand flailing out as he sat up and the world shot into reality around him. His chest was heaving, his palms sweated, and he felt overly hot and cold all at once.

"Siegfried!" Reicket shouted, leaning in front of him quickly and making Siegfried jerk back. "I'm sorry, I'm really sorry I didn't mean to upset you! I'm stupid, you know, I don't know what I'm talking about and I shouldn't have said it!"

Siegfried let Reicket talk and whine and lament his words as he just breathed. His mind started to catch up to his body, the nightmare fleeting, but the grip of fear still on him. Siegfried nodded, calming down, and when he glanced over his shoulder to see a very concerned Gilsa he almost felt completely reassured.

"It… it wasn't you, Reicket." Siegfried sighed, "I guess I just… even if I don't sleep, I can't get away from the nightmare today." He rubbed his eyes, which stung from all the...crying.

"No, I shouldn't have…" Reicket rubbed his arm. "I'm sorry, for what I said, I didn't mean to upset you."

"I'm just tired." Siegfried sighed, feeling drained after the conversation, after fainting, after doing so much and nothing at all.

"We'll take you back to your room." Gilsa decided, gently helping Siegfried to his feet.

Siegfried was suddenly stuck with the fear of being alone, and in darkness, ready to immediately assert he was fine again, but he saw Gilsa's expression, and then Rickets; both clearly had no plans of leaving him alone. He let Gilsa start leading them back to his room. Reicket was a step behind, and Siegfried wanted to assure him again that it wasn't his fault he got so panicked, but felt more safe in the silence. The walk to his bedroom was brief, and quiet, and helped settle all their feelings.

Then when they came to the hallway which ended in Siegfried's bedroom, all three abruptly stopped. The door had been left open. A small glow came from inside, and it case a massive shadow across the open door. None of them has a second to move, they were all stunned at this invasion.

Immediately that shadow began to move then, and all could clearly hear loud clicking approach the door. Gilsa stepped forward reflexively, and for a moment Siegfried recognized the sound, but couldn't quite place it. Then, in the next instance, a hand appeared and pushed the door open wider and wider, the intruder stepping out cautiously.

They were a beautiful woman dressed in long flowing fabric, a kind smile on her face, and she kept walking toward them confidently. "What in the world are you doing up so early?" She said, her voice soft and kind.

"Daphne!" Siegfried exclaimed in happiness. He perked up immediately and stepped around Gilsa hastily, "You're home!"

She stepped forward, reached out and drawing Siegfried in a hug. "I missed you."

Siegfried took a long breath, basking for a moment in the tight hug. "I missed you too." He gently drew back, but not all the way. "Why are you home?"

"I got tired of those stuffy books and old ladies." Daphne smiled, and she patted him on the shoulder. "Also…" Her eyes slowly moved over to Gilsa and Reicket. "I heard a rumor about you, that I had to come and investigate."

Siegfried glanced back at his friends, stepping away. Then looked back, "Oh! These are Gilsa Ducere and Reicket Volo. Gentleman, this is my sister, Daphne Brightsoar."

Daphne chuckled and held up her hand, "Don't bow, no need. Siegfried, I said I was here about a rumor, not you finally having friends."

"Rumor?" Seigfried questioned, confused, and looking to his friends for help.

Gilsa stepped a bit closer and cleared his throat for attention, though his eyes were stuck to Daphne. "Your Highness… the White Sword?"

"Oh!" Siegfried blushed, embarrassed at appearing foolishing in front of his sister. "Right."

 

Princess Daphne had long flowy hair that had wavy locks, all of which she had pulled back into a strict bun tied up with beads. Her lips and eyes weren't pained, but even then it took away nothing from her refined looks. The dress she wore was long, held up by thin puffs of sleeves beside her shoulders, and a tight corset across her chest. The skirt of the dress had a dark layer on the bottom, and a soft sheer lace layer on top which had flowers and curls. Beside her at the table, on a fine cushion, was a pile of jewelry that she quickly discarded. She was leaning back in her chair, one leg crossed far to the side so it stuck out, and tapped her foot in the air.

"I had to see it with my own eyes." She explained as she ate, "I couldn't believe it otherwise, that's actually… incredible. How in the world did you find it?" Daphne ate another piece of cake, but her eyes were enraptured by the White Sword.

"The Crystal Goddess revealed it to me." Siegfried quietly said, still humbled by it himself.

Daphne gave an unbelieving laugh. "Are you sure you shouldn't be studying at Opalliseum? You've always had a much better attachment to the spirit of the Goddess than me."

Siegfried blushed. "Come on, sis, you know that boys aren't allowed."

Daphne let her chair fall forward, and set her fork down. "Can I hold it?"

Siegfried looked up frantically at her. He felt an instant stab of fear, of him handing the Sword to his sister and not being able to take it back up again. At his sister being chosen to use the White Sword more than him. He opened his mouth, trying to find a response, even if it was a lie, but he hesitated and couldn't say anything.

"Your Holiness," Gilsa said after a moment, "I'm sorry if it causes offense to say this, but none except those chosen by the sword may hold them." He held out his hand, the one he had used to test the Green Sword, and revealed a bright red burn that was in a perfect line and blistered at the edges.

Daphne leaned forward and snatched up Gilsa's hand, her eyebrows lifting up as he inspected the wound. "I had read of such a charm of protection in my studies. I had heard that it would set your entire body on fire, however." She grinned up at Gilsa and then sat back.

"Wh-why did you ask then!" Siegfried gasped, "You could have been hurt!"

Gilsa was going to respond, but just nodded and fell back in his seat, holding his hand as it tingled where Daphne had grabbed him.

"I would have been fine. You worry too much Siegfried." Daphne cut herself another piece of cake. She looked at Reicket and Gilsa with a smile. "He's probably been quite the handful, hasn't he? Thank you for watching over him, you two."

"It's no trouble, Princess!" Reicket grinned, "Siegfried is amazing, you know? We fought against this crazy Dark Wizard twice, and the second time I became the Green Knight! Without him, none of that would have happened. He's a great King too, always blowing us off for paperwork."

"Reicket." Gilsa cautioned, though Siegfried only blushed.

"Really?" Daphne intently asked, "Siegfried's neglecting his work. How unlike you."

"Well - being the White Knight, I have to attend to new duties personally, and all." Siegfried weakly defended himself.

"That's wonderful!" Daphne congratulated, "You two must be good influences on him then."

"Really good influences." Reicket laughed.

Daphne leaned on her hand with an easy smile. "I'll be able to leave easily then, without worrying about Siegfried too much. I can depend on you two to keep him out of trouble, can't I?"

"Of course! We're friends after all!" Reicket smiled, clasping Siegfried on the shoulder.

"I am sworn to protect him with my life." Gilsa pledged, voice serious and grave.

Daphne lifted her head up from her hand slightly, struck by his words. She gave a relieved smile. "I'm very reassured, thank you. But, it's always better safe than sorry with Siegfried, isn't it?" Daphne shifted in her seat so she could take out a thin beautiful necklace from her dress. She held it out to her brother.

Siegfried took it delicately. The necklace had a fine leather loop holding it together that was clearly threaded and tanned with care. The charm itself was in the shape of a kite shield, and on the front was the crystal heart, the sigil of the Crystal Goddess. "Thank you, it's beautiful."

Daphne shoved him slightly, "'Beautiful?' Have I been away so long you think I'd give you something like that. No, this is a protection charm for you."

"A protection charm?" Siegfried repeated, and he turned to show it to Reicket and Gilsa.

"I made it to protect you from life-threatening attacks for ten-minutes. It'll only work once, so use it carefully. Open it too, you idiot."

"Open…?" Siegfried wondered, turning the kite shield over in his hand.

Gilsa leaned across Reicket and pressed the little loop at the top. The shield swung open, revealing it was a locket, and what it contained was not a picture or note, but instead a steady white glow. One that was enough to illuminate all of Siegfried's face, and make him squint.

"Do you like it? That light will never go out, even underwater or in the strongest gale. I made sure of it." Daphne gave a wide heart-stopping smile, one full of genuineness and love. "I wouldn't give you something just because it was pretty, you know?"

Siegfried sniffed, feeling his face heat with emotion and his heart burst with the thoughtfulness of his sister's gift. He rubbed his eyes to not cry, for the second time this day, and let out a long breath as he held the little glowing pendant in both hands. Except, he knew he was going to start crying anyway, in fact he wanted to because of how overwhelmingly made with love and care this was. Instead of just sitting this time, Siegfried immediately stood up from his chair, throwing himself at his sister in a passionate hug.

Daphne caught him with an amused face, like she expected him to do just that, and patted his back. "Yes, yes, I am very thoughtful aren't I? The best sister ever?"

"Yes!" Siegfried responded loudly, "Thank you! It's perfect - it's more than perfect - I can't believe you made it for me."

Daphne pushed Siegfried off, "You'll wear it always?"

"Yes. Yes." Siegfried gasped, clutching the pendant tightly, "I'll never take it off."

"Good." Daphne kissed him on the forehead. "When I come back I'll ask your friends if you ever did, so don't lie to me. One of them seems very honest."

"I'd be happy to rat out Siegfried any day for you, Princess." Reicket snickered, and leaned toward Siegfried with clear intention to get him in trouble.

"Wait. When you-" Siegfried hurried to put the necklace on, closing it as he stood back from his sister. "Come back?"

"I know I just got here, but-"

"You have to go right now?" Siegfried mournfully asked. "You just got here…"

"I ran into some trouble and got held up for a day." Daphne stood and gently brushed her hand over Siegfried's shoulders. "You know how important my training and duties are at Opalliseum. Especially with the news I'll be bringing." She gestured to the White Sword. "And I'll come back as quick as I can. And if you ever need me, commune with the Goddess and I'll be there."

Siegfried nodded, because he did understand. He knew the weight of responsibility, the importance of being present, and though he'd only been to Opalliesum once, he knew the necessity of Daphne's presence there. He held on tightly to the little kite shield pendant, running his finger over the hidden button that would open the light.

"Besides," Daphne gently pushed him on the chest, "You've got your friends to keep you company while I'm gone, don't you?"

Siegfried glanced over his shoulder to where Gilsa and Reicket both respectfully sat, letting them speak without interruption. Reicket nodded, grinning widely to reassure him. Gilsa looked at Daphne, taking her words seriously and as another part of his duties. Siegfried turned back to his sister.

"I do."


Siegfried, Gilsa, and Reicket were all standing at the entrance to the Crystal Palace, watching as Daphne road away on a pure white horse covered in glittering decorations. She sat regally and with a rigid back, but had turned around and waved good-bye to them as long as she could. Most of Red Squadron moved alongside her in order to make sure she reached her destination safely.

Siegfried let out a sigh as his sister disappeared through the exit into the city, losing sight of her. "I miss her already. I wish she could have stayed longer."

"Yeah, she seemed super cool. How come, if she's the Princess, she's not here?" Reicket wondered, still looking after where she left.

"Daphne is studying abroad to be a High Priestess of the Goddess." Siegfried told him, "Her role is just as important as mine, as the King, since we haven't had a High Priestess in Crystalandia since my mother retired."

Reicket perked up, and looked at Siegfried. He didn't speak right away, however, and then thought twice about what he was going to say. "I hope your sister comes back soon."

"She should be finished next year." Siegfried said happily. "I'm glad you guys liked her, sorry if she said anything embarrassing."

"She was very kind." Gilsa quietly said. "I'd be happy to see her again too."

Siegfried nodded.

For a moment all three were in silence. Then, as usual, Reicket spoke first.

"Want to go back to Siegfried's room and have more cake?"

Gilsa hung his head slightly. "Is all you ever think about food?"

Siegfried smiled, "I'd love to."

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rainbow knights

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