Ruri makes it to the capital, but she has been traveling as a cat in order to avoid attention. She is introduced to the king's advisor, and later, the king himself, as a cat, so now she's not sure how she'll be able to tell them she's a human! The Dragon King and Ruri also have similar magical wavelengths that compliment each other, so King Jade ends up sneaking off to visit her every chance he gets. Ruri indulges in a life of laziness and luxury for quite some time before she remembers her ultimate goal: get revenge on Asahi. Ruri decides to visit the kingdom of Nadosha after hearing they may be preparing for war (on Asahi's recommendation, most likely), and what she finds is desolation and starvation.
Luke is an aspiring high school basketball player whose mother is an archaeologist, and she has just secured him a visitor pass to come to her latest dig site. Despite her warning not to touch anything, Luke is drawn to an artifact that looks similar to the others his mom’s team has uncovered, but the artifact pulls Luke into a dark place, where the Earth is the size of a basketball! He runs into a girl named Lully, who calls this place the Black Gateway. Luke grabs the Earth and Lully leads him out of the darkness into her bedroom. They decide to travel to the closest town to see if there’s anyone who can help Luke get the Earth back to normal size. Along the way, they meet Mitton, a deserter from the military force on this planet, and they must fight to keep the Earth out of the hands of mercenaries and evil robots who all want it for the evil Damas.
Ruri has had a pretty hard life. Her blonde hair and blue eyes have brought her lots of attention, especially from an annoying girl named Asahi. Everyone LOVES Asahi, and Ruri always gets in trouble for Asahi’s whims. Ruri is determined to go to college and leave Asahi firmly behind her, when it turns out Asahi has gotten into a neighboring college and rented an apartment in Ruri’s building! One day, the two ladies and a few other “friends” are walking to school, and they get pulled into another world. Ruri is incensed - she can’t even get kidnapped away from Asahi! Everyone thinks Asahi is the prophesied Priestess Princess, and it’s more of the same in this new world - up until they throw Ruri out into the forest for some sort of “treason” against Asahi. Ruri picks her way along the forest until she happens upon the hut of Chelsie, an “old hag” who teaches Ruri more about this world. Ruri has much to learn, but she also wants revenge on those who treated her poorly.
Akira and Amelia decide to adopt the not-so-fierce demon kitty. Amelia heals him, and Akira names him Night. Akira and Night form a new pact as master and servant, which will allow the demon king to still be able to see everything with the link inherent between demon king and all demons, but will give Akira and Night special abilities. Night reveals that there are three other dungeons in the world, and each dungeon challenges a different aspect of the character's skills. A portal opens at the end of the labyrinth, and Akira decides to travel to the next labyrinth in the forest of the Elven people, where Amelia is being hunted by her twin sister. With Akira caught right in the middle of the power struggle in the Elven kingdom, will he ever make it to the labyrinth to continue his development?
Rayearth is one of those interesting series broken up into parts. While this is volume four if this series, it's labeled as "Part Two: Book One." In the 25th Anniversary Edition, Part Two is in a different boxed set than Part One.
Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu are still reeling from their major battle that closed out Part One. The three try to adjust back to normal life, but the weight of what happened in Cefiro weighs heavy on them. The three meet up in Tokyo Tower again to try to come to terms with what has happened when suddenly, they are transported again! This time, the world they enter is in shambles. The ocean is gone, the sky is black, and the only thing they can see is a castle standing tall above a jagged, rocky island. The three are taken to the castle, where they reunite with what’s left of the old cast, and they are told what grim fate has befallen Cefiro. They also discover that there are several invading forces from other worlds desperately clawing at Cefiro’s borders, all vying for the chance to install themselves as a new ruler. Our Magic Knights pick up the mantle once again in defense of this once-beautiful world.
Illustrated by Hiroyuki Aigamo
Akira has retreated back to the labyrinth his class went to in volume one, determined to gain maximum levels in as much as he can. He’s been in the labyrinth a month before he finds Amelia trapped inside a slime monster. She’s an elven warrior who has come to the labyrinth for the same reason, and the two decide to team up to defeat the most challenging monsters at the end of the labyrinth. Back in the castle, Kyosuke, another classmate whose class is samurai, wakes to find himself in the princess’s chamber, having just cut through six black crystals. He has no idea what he’s doing or what the crystals are until the next day when hero Tsukasa announces he’s going off to fight the demon king. The rest of the class ridicules him, all except six classmates, Kyosuke among them.
Illustrated by Hiroyuki Aigamo
This has a really long, very Japanese title, but it's overall a fun story. Akira’s entire class gets suddenly transported to another world where they are tasked with fighting the Demon King and saving the kingdom. Each pupil, upon entering the world, was given skills and a job class that best suited them. Tsukasa, the class president and star athlete, was obviously the hero, and he has to lead the charge against the Demon King. Akira, however, is an assassin, and his stats are much, much higher than Tsukasa’s as the hero. Not everything is as it seems in this world, and Akira uses his max level [conceal presence] skill to find out what’s really going on. He befriends the commander of the guard and trainer of the Class, and uncovers a plot that speaks of more sinister intentions than just fighting a Demon King.
Illustrated by Sando and Misaki
Lizel finds himself in a strange place that feels very similar to his home. He immediately pawns his sword and sets about finding himself a local guide. He stumbles upon Gil, and adventures nicknamed “Single Stroke.” Lizel, an obvious noble by his stature and demeanor, decides he wants to become an adventurer too! He charms the attendant at the Adventurer's guild, provides critical insight to a team trying to solve a labyrinth, and takes on his first quests to level up.
The final volume in part 1 of this series, and it's quite a whirlwind! This entire story seems like it happens over the course of one day, and moves extremely quickly. In this volume, our heroines find all three Rune Gods and have to prove themselves worthy of their power. Each one has a showdown with another Zagato minion, and has to outsmart them as well as out-fight them. Through it all, the adorable Mokona guides them to every temple and conveniently hides during every battle. Then, it's time for the final showdown with Zagato, and a twist ending you most likely will not see coming!
In the Forest of Silence, where magic doesn't work, the girls meet a mysterious swordsman named Ferio, who seems to also want to become a Magic Knight. Fuu strikes a bargain with him that forces him to escort the ladies to the Spring of Eterna in order to obtain the legendary mineral, Escudo. The Spring is nothing like they all imagined, and the trial to obtain Escudo is more challenging than they were expecting. Ferio lets it slip that only those close to the princess know of the legend of the Magic Knights, but he fails to say how he came across this information before he disappears into the wild blue yonder.
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