Risa and her friends were back at the Sapphire City two days later, and were soon admitted to see the Wizard. Finally, they stood in the massive crystalline chamber, as Risa offered the Wizard the broken wand. Placing it at the base of his throne, Risa backed up and waited for the Wizard to say something.
The Wizard merely sat silently, not moving an inch.
The friends looked at one another curiously, before the scarecrow spoke up.
"We held up our end of das bargain. Aren't you going to hold up your das end?"
"I…did not expect you to return so soon," the Wizard said slowly. He seemed to Risa to be confused, unsure of what to say next. "I will need time to contemplate these events. You may return in three days."
"What-" the iron man started.
"How-" the lion stuttered.
"You-" Risa said in astonishment.
The scarecrow and Usagi ignored the wizard. The scarecrow narrowed his eyes, suspecting that something strange was going on. Taking its cue, the little rabbit gazed around the room, pointing out a strange hairline crack in the dais under the Wizard's throne. The scarecrow walked up to it, tapping it briefly. He then nodded, and called his friends over.
"NO! STOP! What do you think you're doing?" the Wizard demanded in horror, as the iron man jammed his kendo stick into the hairline crack and began pushing with the lion. A secret door built into the dais suddenly slid open, revealing a hidden room full of bizarre flashing devices and buttons.
Risa was the first to look inside, and she froze as she saw the room's occupant.
"…SETSUYA?" Risa asked, flustered and amazed. "What are you doing…how did you…why did you…" The lion immediately moved to support her before she fell to the floor in shock.
Risa's friends looked at the real Wizard, the person who had created the image of the blue-robed man on the sapphire throne. Sure enough, he was an almost perfect double of Setsuya. They looked at him in amazement, unsure of what to do, or why Risa reacted the way she did.
Finally, Risa recovered and stood up. The Wizard merely sighed and frowned at her.
"I'm afraid that I don't know who this Setsuya person is," he said calmly. "I am…well…the wizard of Yn."
"You're not das wizard at all!" the scarecrow accused. "You're just das fake!"
"And you got us to do your dirty work for you," the lion accused. The iron man scowled, his kendo stick on his shoulder. The Wizard sighed again.
"Who are you, really?" Risa asked calmly. "And you might as well tell us the truth."
"I am the heir to the throne of this country, its rightful ruler," he answered. "Each Wizard picks his own successor in secret, to maintain the illusion that we are great wizards. We need the image of strong leadership to-"
"-keep your grip on power," the iron man accused mistrustfully.
"I suppose you could put it that way," the Wizard answered. "But we have always done our best for our people-building hospitals, tending to the poor, helping children go to school. If we were not in power, whoever might replace us would be just driven for power. The Wizards have managed to stay where they are because we care about our people. They want us as their leaders, because they know we care about them."
"And you send people to destroy your enemies?" the lion asked ironically.
"We can't solve every problem," the Wizard said sadly. "I thought that you might be able to destroy the Witch, since we couldn't. I could see that you were all fairly brave, and you stood out most of all," he indicated Risa. "You got the ruby tap shoes before the Wicked Witch of the West did. That marked you out as special."
Risa couldn't help but feel some sympathy for the Wizard, if only because of how tired and stressed he sounded. Trying to care for a whole country and its entire people at once was no easy feat. But if he was really who he claimed to be, he would have kept his promises.
"Like I said, we brought back das Wicked Witch's wand, and you should be keeping das promises," the scarecrow reminded him. "Can you use das magic, and-"
"I can't use magic," the wizard said calmly. Disappointment and anger crossed the faces of Risa and her friends as the wizard continued.
"But that doesn't mean I can't help you. I may be able to help you with your problems, if you tell me what they are. Why do you want a brain so much?" he asked the scarecrow.
The scarecrow explained why he needed a brain, hoping to devise better inventions to impress the lady scarecrow with. He then demonstrated some of his inventions to the Wizard, explaining how he had used them on the farm and after meeting Risa.
"Impressive," the Wizard said sincerely when the scarecrow had finished. "If you ask me, you seem intelligent enough already. These devices are well-designed. So simple, and so elegant."
"That doesn't impress das lady scarecrow," the scarecrow answered dryly.
"Well, you do realize that there's a difference between intelligence and wisdom? Knowing how to use your knowledge is just as important as having that knowledge to begin with. And if you ask me, you've already shown that ability. You were smart enough to be suspicious of me, and used that rabbit to find my hiding-place. No one has ever managed to do such a thing."
"And you used your devices to protect us from the poppies," Risa added. "If you hadn't recognized the poppies, and figured out a way for us to get around them, we never would have made it here."
The scarecrow brightened at this.
"It seems to me that you've been letting your problems with this lady scarecrow get to you. You've shown plenty of intelligence already with these inventions of yours, and plenty of wisdom in knowing how to use them. That proves right there that you've got a brain. All you need now is to use it to figure out how to win over the lady scarecrow," the Wizard finished with a smile.
"And you," he continued, turning to the iron man. "What's your story?"
The iron man explained at length what had happened to him, what had happened once he met Risa, and why he wanted a heart.
"You were willing to take on the Wicked Witch of the East, even when she had the ruby tap shoes and all her magical power?" the Wizard asked the iron man incredulously.
"What else could I do?" the iron man asked. "That's why rusting out in the forest was so bad-the munchkins were suffering, and there wasn't anything I could do to help them."
"Hey, you sure helped me a lot," Risa offered. "Remember how you swore to destroy the Wicked Witch of the West and bring back her wand, as long as I was sent home first?" The iron man nodded.
"I couldn't see another person I cared about suffer," the iron man answered determinedly. Anger flashed across his eyes.
"Compassion, determination and honor," the Wizard chuckled. "You don't need me to give you a heart! Why did you even think you needed one in the first place?"
"I got angry out there, when I was rusted," the iron man answered. "I felt like a failure, like I didn't deserve the gratitude of the munchkins for making me a new body. I felt alone and bitter," he said slowly. Risa and Usagi patted his shoulder and foot in sympathy.
"Looks like you got so caught up in your guilt you forgot just why you ended up with an iron body in the first place," the Wizard told him. "You tried to protect the munchkins, and they returned the favor. You were getting ready to try and help them again, when you rusted out. The rainstorm wasn't your fault."
"And you protected me," Risa said slowly. "You saved me-all of us, even-more than once." She smiled at him, as the iron man blushed and turned away with a smile of his own.
"People only truly lose their heart if they give up on what they believe in," the Wizard added. "If you did that, you'd never have helped your friends the way you did. What would you have done if you'd been oiled by a passerby, and they hadn't been going to the City of Sapphires?"
"I would have gone and destroyed the Wicked Witch of the East," the iron man replied determinedly. "I wasn't about to abandon the munchkins!"
"You just proved my point," the Wizard said with a smile.
"And how about you?" the Wizard asked, turning to the lion. "How did you get so cowardly?"
The lion told the Wizard his story, about his fear of the other dangerous predators, and what had happened after he met Risa.
"Running away from a fight when the other side outnumbers you twenty to one isn't cowardice, it's common sense," the Wizard told him. "If you had tried to fight the Kelidas by yourself, you'd have just become their lunch. There's a difference between courage and bravado. Bravado is just stupidity."
"And you were still able to fight the Kelidas to protect me and Usagi," Risa said with a smile. She and Usagi both petted the lion's mane. The lion turned red in embarrassment.
"Courage isn't charging into a situation like a fool without making sure you know what you're doing. Real courage is taking a risk for something important, for something or someone you care about, even when you know the dangers. You had a reason to fight those Kelidas when they attacked your friends, and you had a reason to fight the Witch's guards. You don't need to feel like a coward for running from a fight that would have gotten you killed. You say you took risks when you needed to, to help people and causes you care about? Sounds a lot like courage to me."
"It's strange, isn't it?" asked Risa. Everyone looked at her.
"What do you mean?" the lion asked curiously.
"You were all so upset about the bad things in your lives, you forgot about the good. That just made you think things were worse than they really were."
"We're not das only ones," the scarecrow reminded her.
Risa was suddenly struck by how right the scarecrow was. Her family heritage and her pariah status were terrible things to live with. But her magnificent dancing brought her joy, and her friends helped her through the problems.
How could she have forgotten all that?
Risa sighed. She was happy to see that her friends had been able to find their brains, their hearts and their courage, but she was still trapped in Yn. She had no idea how she would return home to Japan, to see the people she cared about.
"I doubt there's anything you can say to send me home," she said sadly to the Wizard.
"Don't be so sure," smiled the Wizard, as he returned into his secret room and emerged with a crystal prism.
"I helped the Good Witch of the North a while ago, and she said I could call her with this prism if I ever needed her to repay the favor. Maybe she can think of something."
Risa brightened immediately.
"Just one thing, though," the Wizard replied, returning to his secret room. "Don't tell anyone about who I really am, okay? If you do, everything in Yn would go absolutely haywire. Promise?"
Risa and her friends nodded, before the Wizard began rubbing the prism, using it to call out to the Good Witch and summon her to his throne room. He then promptly retreated into his secret room, slamming the door behind him and reactivating the imagery of the hooded, blue-robed mage.
The blue and indigo lights began to appear and gather, before assembling into the beautiful Good Witch of the North. Risa was again amazed at how much she resembled Mai-chan. She and the Wizard proceeded to explain the situation, hoping she would have a solution.
"Oh, yes!" the Good Witch brightened. "I believe I have the answer."
"What is it?" Risa asked eagerly.
"If you perform the proper dance with the ruby tap shoes, you will be able to go anywhere you wish, even home. You can also take Usagi with-"
"Wait a minute," Risa interrupted incredulously. "You mean I could've gone home any time I wanted? Why didn't you tell me?!"
The Good Witch sweat-dropped nervously.
"Would you believe I…forgot?"
Risa and her friends collapsed in shock.
Finally, Risa leapt to her feet.
"You mean to tell me that I could've gone home any time?!" Risa said furiously. "After everything I went through-" she suddenly stopped. She was forgetting the positive side of her journey, only remembering the dangers she and her friends had faced. If she had gone home that instant, none of her friends would ever have gotten what they wanted. And she would never have learned so much about herself. And the Winkies would have still been slaves to the Wicked Witch of the West.
"I'm sorry," Risa said. "I've…been through a lot these last few weeks. But when I was dancing before…why didn't I go home then?"
"All the powers and abilities in the world don't do any good unless you use them," the Good Witch reminded her. "Now you do, I take it?"
"Yes," Risa answered. "And I want to say…" she hesitated, looking around at everyone, people who reminded her so much of her friends.
"Thank you. For everything."
She hugged the scarecrow first.
"Sorry about das x-ray glasses," he smiled.
"Don't worry," Risa laughed. "It just shows you're smart enough to have good taste," she winked. "And besides, you're also smart enough to follow your dreams."
She then turned to the iron man.
"It's been an honor, to..." the iron man began.
"You don't need to say it," Risa answered. "What's important is what's in your heart." They both blushed and turned away smiling.
Finally, Risa patted the lion, smiling as she looked into his eyes.
"Thanks for everything," the lion simply said.
"And thank you," Risa answered. "Courage is a hard thing to hold onto sometimes, isn't it?" The lion nodded in reply.
Risa and Usagi looked around, smiling at their friends. Risa and Usagi might never see them again, but the memories were all they needed.
"I'm ready now," she finished, turning to the Good Witch.
"All you need is to dance with your heart, and your desire to return home. The shoes will do the rest," the Good Witch replied.
"But I danced before," Risa answered in confusion. "Why didn't it-"
"All the talent and power in the world is no good if you don't use it properly," the Good Witch replied.
Risa smiled and nodded, following the Good Witch's advice as she began the last dance, letting her memories flood over her, both the old and the new, the good and the bad. The people watching her slowly faded from sight, as Risa closed her eyes.