Marinette shook all doubts from her head and knocked on the wooden door.
"Come in, Ladybug," Master Fu's voice answered from the other side of the door, "We have much to discuss."
She gulped and opened the door. The book was clutched in her arms.
"Close the door on your way in, Miss Dupain-Cheng," he said again.
As soon as Marinette did, Tikki decided it was high-time she made herself known to the entire party in the room.
The spotted kwami squeaked, "He's the Great Guardian, Marinette!"
Marinette figured as much.
"Also part-time kwami healer," the Great Guardian introduced. "Also known as Master Fu. Fu Shifu, if you feel like it."
Realization suddenly dawned on her. "You're the old man I helped back at the start of school!"
"Those macarons were very delicious, might I add," he commented.
A green creature floated into view, "Yes. A lovely color as well, but there are more important things to discuss."
It was like a curtain just dropped on the windows and walls, but Marinette was sure it was still bright.
Master Fu's smile melted into something grimmer, but not a frown. "Ah, yes. Thank you, Wayzz."
"Things like what?" Marinette asked. She looked to Tikki, who shared the same expression as the other two. "You all know something. I don't get it."
"It all began when you battled Volpina," said Fu, "that we all realized that you were still blind to the history of what you wear on your earlobes."
"This is about the other Miraculous, Marinette," Tikki explained.
Almost like Marinette couldn't understand.
Which she probably didn't.
Wayzz continued, "The answers that aren't in that book you hold."
"I gave that book to Hawkmoth, when he was once known as Monarch," Master Fu explained, "There were no akuma then, but there were worldly problems. Water demons in the Bermuda Triangle, or kwami poachers in most of the world."
The old man rambled on, "Why, I remember when Pinss' holder had to come up to me personally to plead the case of the endangered Tiger kwami in the Middle East. I did go to help, but I came across the book on a side-trip to Tibet and had to make a quick U-turn back to Paris-"
Marinette put the book down and sat on a cushion on the floor, "How does this explain why Adrien had it?"
"Hawkmoth is a man close to Adrien," said Wayzz, who looked at the old man with concern or fear that he might ramble again, "or whatever may classify as close for Hawkmoth."
"Can't you just tell me?" Marinette complained.
Wise masters always had the habit of being vague and not telling anything useful to their young padawans.
The three shared a look, before Tikki finally nodded.
"It's Gabriel Agreste," the little kwami explained in her squeaky voice.
Marinette took sweet time to squeak, squeal and shriek, in the most horrified expression.
Finally, she composed herself, "He's Hawkmoth?!"
"I said we shouldn't have told her so bluntly," Wayzz whispered while Marinette had her fit.
"Adrien!" Marinette wailed, "We need to help him! He's already going through so much emotional torture! If he finds out his dad wants to take over Paris, he'll be so heartbroken!"
"Marinette," Tikki began.
"And when the secret breaks his heart, he won't have the emotional capacity to love anything anymore!"
Wayzz piped in, "Marinette."
"Least of all, me!"
"Marinette!" All three of them stated.
Marinette blushed ferociously and silenced.
"You need to understand," Master Fu said once Marinette stopped, "that Hawkmoth was once a hero, like his wife was."
"Sapphire," Wayzz answered.
"Yes," Fu coughed, "Carrying on. Pavva," he paused to look at Marinette's face of confusion, "the peacock kwami," he explained, "is the symbol of vision and vibrancy, with that being her charge's special ability. However, where there is power, there is also balance."
"Like how we only have five minutes after we use our powers?" Marinette queried.
"Yes, but that is only limited to Tikki and Plagg," Wayzz expounded, "For being the two most powerful kwami in every generation. For Mello, her Pollination has her share a burden in order to share her strength. In Pavva's case, she melds with an idea so that she can take it with her."
"Pavva always was a visionary in more ways than one," commented Tikki.
Marinette couldn't contain her curiosity, "What happened?"
"Sapphire tried to see too much," Master Fu said grimmly, "She had always been a dreamer, but that was the time she took it too far. Miraculous were never meant to be used for evil or selfish gain. It was my greatest mistake as a Guardian."
"Why are you telling me this?" She was finally bombarded with the ultimate question.
Wayzz gazed at Marinette in an unflinching, calculating look. "You said you needed to help."
"No!" Tikki made a caterwaul worthy of Plagg. "You said explain, not hand her a mission, Wayzz!"
"My master chose her as Ladybug for a reason, Tikki!"
"This isn't that reason," the red kwami argued.
Master Fu stroked his beard, "I am confused on whether we should tell her or not. Your bickering helps no one, and definitely not her."
"I love it when people talk about me in third person," Marinette muttered to herself.
The arguing went on. However, it was complete and utter silence from that.
Wayzz and Tikki looked like they were trapped in either an intense staring contest or an endless chess match.
It was a kwami thing, strictly.
Finally, Tikki looked straight at Marinette with a smile that bore striking resemblance to that of a scheming Chat Noir. "We can go now, Marinette."
The ravenette nodded and reached for the book that lay peacefully on the floor.
A leathery hand reached for it first.
"I'd take this for now, Miss Dupain-Cheng," Master Fu said. "Wayzz and Tikki are both right. I chose you as Ladybug for a reason, but this shouldn't be that reason."
Marinette didn't know if her ears were tricking her.
Marinette nodded at the old man. She hoped her eyes could send a wave of apology, but she really wasn't sure.
"Good evening, then," Fu called as Marinette escaped from the wooden door.
In the drizzle.
Or rather, Marinette did.
Tikki just stowed away in Marinette's purse, muttering in an unintelligible language.
As soon as she arrived at the bakery, a rush of words spilled to her mother:
"Went to the library" she said breathlessly, "I'llbeinmyroomthewholetime, bye!"
Marinette rushed up the stairs, panting with every step.
She pushed into her bedroom and slammed herself onto her bed.
She even crawled into the sheets for good measure.
"Tikki!" The designer exclaimed, "What was that about?!"
The red god-creature flew out of the purse of as soon as they landed and tutted disapprovingly. "I never would've agreed to the meet-up if I knew they were going to ask you to free Pavva!"
"F-free?" Marinette stood up suddenly interested, "She's trapped?"
"Yes!" Tikki didn't even know what she was revealing, how much gears were now turning in her charge's mind. "Along with her charge!"
So that's what they were talking about.
"What happened to her?" Marinette asked. "Erm, Sapphire, I mean."
Tikki coaxed Marinette to relax. The young girl didn't even realize how stiff she sat until she was asked not to.
"Wayzz and Fu were explaining a while back," Tikki began in a calm voice in her usual high pitch, "She used her Miraculous wrong, and Pavva couldn't balance it the way Nooroo could balance Hawkmoth. Yin will always have a Yang, and it was both the kwami and the holder who paid the price."
Questions did not burn away from Marinette's mind.
"Why did Wayzz think I could help?"
The tiny creature was so red-hot with explanation that she couldn't be bothered to stop.
Not that Marinette wanted her to.
"You see, Mari," explained Tikki, "Every other Miraculous was a result of Ladybug's powers of creation. They are magical charms of some sort, with more useful abilities than what you get when you ask."
"The first Ladybug created all the other Miraculouses?"
Tikki answered in a matter-of-fact tone, "Kwami were very common and free then, and it took a talented mage to condemn me to a piece of jewelry. That age was the first time my Lucky Charm was used, and also the first time it was used selfishly."
"And if Ladybug can get rid of her Lucky Charm to restore everything," asked Marinette.
The little sprite saw Marinette's train of thought, "Then whatever happened since the last transformation could be reversed, but the Miraculous will remain since it isn't as limited as a simple charm."
Marinette stood immediately in a stance of courage, "Then Wayzz was right." She immediately made her way to her table to scribble a note.
"What are you thinking?" Tikki was suddenly aware of how much history of what Marinette wears on her earlobes she actually shared.
The dark-haired teenager set the note on her unmade bed.
The storm was getting stronger.
"Tikki, transform me!"