Hikaru, Umi and Fuu follow Mokona deep into the forest. They encounter a monster, but Hikaru beats it easily. Umi warns Mokona that it better not be purposely leading them to monsters. Hikaru beats another monster and Fuu wonders if the monsters just happen to be on the path to Eterna. Hikaru has the feeling that they’re being followed before they’re attacked by two monsters. Hikaru beats one but the other captures Umi and Fuu. They’re saved by a young man named Ferio, who criticizes the girls for not carrying weapons. Ferio offers his services as a hunter, but Hikaru says they don’t have any money. Ferio says he’ll accept food instead and Mokona makes a whole pile of it appear. Umi doesn’t think they should trust him and tells him to leave, but she changes her mind after he says she’s beautiful. Fuu questions him instead and he reveals he’s no hunter, but a swordsman that escaped from Zagato’s forces, only to get lost. Fuu questions him further but he gives up. He follows after them anyway and they try to give him the slip. Night falls and the girls wonder where to sleep, but Mokona makes a house appear. Hikaru wants to take some food to Ferio, but Fuu says she’ll do it instead since Hikaru is too kind. When Fuu leaves the food, Ferio asks her to stay while he eats since he’s lonely. Instead she blushes and runs away. The next day they continue on, fighting hordes of monsters along the way. They reach a floating rock that’s surrounded by a huge crowd of monsters.
Mokona wants to continue on, but Umi says there’s no way they can fight so many monsters. Hikaru wants to ask Ferio for advice, but Fuu is still distrustful of him. Hikaru says that Ferio is the only one there with knowledge of the forest and Ferio appears and offers to answer their questions. He explains that the forest was always like that even before Zagato, attributing it to the floating rock which attracts evil. Hikaru suggests destroying the rock by having one group draw away the monsters and the other attacking the rock. Ferio volunteers to be the distraction but Hikaru says if they can’t do that much they can’t save Cephiro. Fuu stops Hikaru from saying more, and Ferio reveals he also wants to save Emeraude. He explains that he’s an orphan who became a wandering bard. One day he visited the castle and was mistaken for a thief, but Emeraude spared him. He then says that was a lie and insists that he just wants to find a way out of the forest. Hikaru accepts Ferio’s assistance, telling him and Fuu to destroy the rock while she and Umi distract the monsters. Fuu asks Ferio if the story he told was actually true, but he tells her to pick which one she likes. Hikaru and Umi are successful in drawing the monsters away, so Fuu and Ferio move out. When he gets close to the rock Ferio gets drawn in by a powerful force and starts turning to stone. He says the rock also turns creatures into monsters and tells Fuu to destroy it with an arrow. She says it’s impossible, but Ferio tells her that Cephiro is the land of will so she only has to believe. She takes the shot and the stone cracks. It falls and all the monsters turn into regular animals. Fuu goes to Ferio and he says she has a long way to go if she can’t even break a rock. Later, Ferio prepares to leave the forest but before he does, he gives Fuu a gift. Umi asks why only Fuu gets one and Ferio says it’s the difference in how much he cares before running off. Zagato’s view of the Magic Knights returns and he’s surprised they’re still alive.
In this episode our heroines learn why everyone hates random encounters. Despite looking pretty formidable, all the monsters are easily beaten in one hit, so they’re more of a minor annoyance rather than any sort of challenge… just like random encounters! Here we meet Ferio and it’s interesting seeing the different reactions the girls have to him. Hikaru was completely trusting of him from the start, Umi gets swayed by a little flattery, and Fuu remained cautious of him. Eventually, Ferio proves himself to Fuu and from the looks of things has claimed her heart as his prize. I love how this show never forgets its sense of humor. From the spontaneous chibis to Mokona being Mokona, it never fails to put a smile on my face.