Jaller staggered backward, briefly blinded by the beam glaring right into his face.
The crowd was murmuring in amazement. Turaga Vakama stepped forward, his eyes filled with awe. “Come,” he said, reaching for the mask. “We must take this to the suva immediately.”
A few minutes later most of the crowd was gathered around the suva, a small, domelike shrine in the center of the village.
Nokama, the Turaga of Ga-Koro, was chanting under her breath as she stretched her hands toward the floating mask.
“Mapaku una-kanokee wehnua-hakeeta ah-keelahe hanoni rahun-ahk toa-nak panokeeta makuta-tahkee ohnoh-koo,” she mumbled.
“What’s she doing?” Jaller whispered.
“Translating?” Takua guessed.
Finally Nokama reached up and pulled the mask out of the air.
“This is the Great Kanohi Mask of Light,” she said solemnly. “A mask to be worn only… by the Seventh Toa, the Toa of Light.”
The onlookers gasped. A Seventh Toa?
Turaga Vakama stepped forward. “Legends foretell the coming of a Seventh Toa, who would bring light to the shadows and awaken Mata Nui.”
Tahu leaped down from his perch on the nearby village wall. “What are we waiting for?” he cried. “We should prepare for this Toa’s arrival! When will it be? And where?”
Turaga Onewa shook his head. “Ah, this Toa will not simply appear as you and the others did,” he said. “The Seventh Toa must be found!”
The crowd murmured in amazement. The original six Toa had not needed finding – they had appeared suddenly on the island just when the Matoran needed them most.
“The Mask of Light chose who would find it,” Nokama said. “Perhaps it also chose who would deliver it to its master.”
“Wait,” Tahu exclaimed. “At the stadium, there was a sign! The mask threw all its light upon one Matoran.” He pointed. “Jaller – he must be the Herald of the Seventh Toa!”
“B-but I didn’t…” Jaller stammered. He turned to Takua. “Tell them the truth!” he whispered urgently. “Say something!”
Takua knew what his friend wanted – to tell the crowd that it had been Takua, not Jaller, who had found the mask. But Takua wasn’t about to take responsibility for this. Who knew how he would manage to mess up such an important quest! No, this was a job for someone responsible. Someone mature.
Someone like Jaller.
Takua raised his kolhii stick. “Hail Jaller!” he cried. “Herald of the Seventh Toa! All hail Jaller!”
The crowd joined in with enthusiasm. “HAIL JALLER!”
Vakama pointed his firestaff at Jaller. “Captain of the Guard!” he called. “Approach!”
Jaller had no choice. He started toward the group of Turaga… then paused just long enough to grab Takua.
Vakama held the Mask of Light out to Jaller. “It seems the mask has chosen you,” he said solemnly. “Will you seek the Seventh Toa?”
Jaller glanced at Takua, who refused to meet his eye. “I – I will,” Jaller said. “And Takua has volunteered to join me!”
As the crowd thinned out, the Toa gathered on the wall above the Suva. “A Seventh Toa…” Tahu said, sounding puzzled. “But why now? All the Makuta’s threats have been defeated.”
Pohatu nodded. The six of them had battled a series of enemies sent by Makuta, but all had fallen before the power of the Toa. The island was peaceful, with no threat in sight. Why would a Seventh Toa be needed now?
“Who can fathom the wisdom of Mata Nui?” Pohatu mused aloud. “I am simply happy to take good news to the north.”
“Will you travel with Gali?” Tahu asked, glancing around for the Toa of Water. But Gali was nowhere in sight.
Pohatu smiled. “No,” he said. “She has gone to ponder her great thoughts.”
Gali sat at the edge of the Amaja Circle, the sacred storytelling area that was part of the island’s main temple, the Kini-Nui.
What can it mean? she wondered. How can it be? A Seventh Toa… It’s nothing any of us ever imagined…
At that moment a constellation caught her eye. Six stars gleamed brightly, overpowering the light of the weaker stars all around them.
Suddenly a new point of light, even brighter than the rest, sailed through the constellation. Gali gasped.
“A seventh star!”