#8—our own worldRating:
All characters are the property of Kaori Naruse. I claim none, I merely borrow them and take them to yummy shoes sales and put them through the horror of finding the perfect strappy sandal.
Part of being a Pretear is preting. I know that sounds really basic, for anyone who knows anything about it. But have you ever really thought about preting and what exactly happens during it, what it entails? What actually goes on during a prêt?
Overtly, it really doesn’t seem that complicated. I mean, in the context of what we do, it’s relatively simple. Nowhere near as difficult as oh, say, fighting demon larvae. Or avoiding Mayune’s pranks. It’s much easier than that.
The Pretear places her hand into the hand of one of her Leafe Knights, the one whose power she wants to use for whatever reason. This contact activates her magic—or as the case may be, my magic—and sets off a whole chain-reaction that leads up to the actual prêt.
I’m not quite sure what happens with the clothes, but both Knight and Pretear are suddenly nude. There is no embarrassment, though. Even if you were to feel any self consciousness about being naked in front of another person, especially a person of the opposite sex, it’s quickly lost to all the other things that are going on around and within you.
From my end as the Pretear, something happens deep within you. It’s like something opens up at your very core, opening wide. That’s in the very center of your magic, and that’s the place where the Knight will be when the prêt is complete.
I asked Mannen what it feels like from the viewpoint of a Leafe Knight. He said that it feels a bit strange the first time. Your body goes sort of numb, he says, but it’s not in that ‘pins and needles’ way. It doesn’t hurt. You feel floaty, and all you can see is the Pretear in front of you. And then the change begins.
The Pretear pulls the Leafe Knight closer as he starts to glow. This is really the only physical manifestation of the prêt, the change that the Knight goes through. And with her hand still entwined in his, the Pretear feels the change.
The Knight becomes energy, the pure form of their element and their being. They become Leafe, and then the Pretear pulls that Leafe to her, accepting it into her own being. The Leafe Knight joins with her by entering through her heart and moving down to that magical core, where that spot has opened wide to wait for them.
Once the Pretear has received the Knight, her magic and his become one. Neither person involved has to think about this part, it happens unconsciously. But the tendrils of her power wind around his; they interweave together to form a stronger elemental power. That is how she is able to use that particular Knight’s power.
While the Knight’s power has merged with her own, the Knight’s consciousness nestles itself into the back of her mind, where he can whisper encouragement or suggestions to her. No one else can hear him or respond directly to him. But the linking of magic seals the prêt, and it is completed by the Pretear’s own physical alteration—her uniform changes to reflect her magic.
The amazing thing is that all of this happens in seconds.
Preting really is an intimate thing. Speaking as the Pretear, I have yet to find anything quite that feels that close. While the prêt is happening, I am naked, powerless, and utterly vulnerable in front of another human being, one who has great power. Can you imagine the level of trust I have for my Knights, that I can appear like that before them.
It isn’t so hard with the children; while they know that it’s not right to look at someone unclothed, they’re still too young to quite
understand the full implications. But with the older ones, it took me a few times before I could take their hands and feel no doubt whatsoever, no hesitation.
But it is a closeness that goes far beyond anything else I’ve ever experienced. To join with someone in such a way, a way that actually transcends the physical, is such a rare thing. Until that first prêt, it was an closeness I had never encountered before.
More personal than a hug.
More intimate than a kiss.
There are even lovers out there who haven’t felt that level of closeness. Connected.
When I prêt, we are literally in our own world. No one else knows what we feel, physically and emotionally. It’s like a great secret, one kept by me, my predecessor, and the seven amazing Knights who swore their lives to help us protect and fight.
I’ve done the prêt with Hayate more often than any of the others. And I do love them all dearly; every single one of the Leafe Knights is like a brother to me. Even Sasame—I’ve long since forgiven him for what happened. I love them all, and I’m thankful for them.
But Hayate is special to me. He was the first one I ever preted with. That’s special. He was the first one I ever experienced that feeling with. I think that creates a special bond. Sasame was the first one Takako ever preted with, and look at them.
Perhaps that’s Fate.
We really don’t have much cause to prêt anymore, since Fenrir was stopped. We still practice once in a while, just to keep our skills in shape. The chance of something actually happening again that will call for us to fight is almost nonexistent.
So I have to make do with the feeling of Hayate’s arms around me. And I have to be happy with the way the fireworks seem to explode around me when he kisses me. I have to settle for the way I respond when he holds me closer than anyone else is permitted to. And trust me, in terms of what I feel, I’m not settling for anything less.
When we prêt, I can feel what he can’t say. After all, Hayate has never been good at expressing himself verbally. But most of the time, he just shows me with an entirely different type of magic.PS. …ya know, I really like how this came out overall. Nice little Himeno POV. Pretty happy with it. But…ayiyiyi, I had a couple of really Bad Thoughts of Evil while I was writing this. If anyone really wants to know, ask. I’ll tell you.
With this, I have officially finished a third of the challenge. Hope you liked the new one, and I hope you’ll stay tuned for the next twenty Kisses. Thank you very much to everyone who has taken the time to comment or review thus far, you are all amazing! Much love!