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A magical country where one's will is the way.
In the magical land of Cephiro, a person's will has the power to change reality for better-- or worse. People's fears can become monsters, and a pure wish can create a miracle.
As such, the country is ruled by the person with the strongest will, known as the Pillar. The Pillar must remain pure and undistracted by any personal matters in order to pray constantly for the well-being of Cephiro, making it a role of great sacrifice.
The events of Magic Knight Rayearth feature Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu as they attempt to rescue the then-Pillar, Princess Emeraude, from her own rogue priest Zagato. However, upon finding Emeraude they learn that she fell in love with Zagato, preventing her from being able to pray effectively. She summoned the Knights to kill her so that Cephiro could have a new, untainted Pillar, and Zagato kidnapped her to try and protect her.
Emeraude is eventually killed, and the Knights return to Earth for a time. But Hikaru's wish to return to Cephiro draws them back. Hikaru is selected to be the new Pillar, but she rejects the Pillar system, saying that no one single person should decide the fate of so many, and have to dedicate every fiber of their being to the country. The Pillar system is effectively destroyed.