Ghosts of the Past, Present, and Future Chapter 3

By Artificer Urza

Year 11995 BC, North Cape (Alternate)

Aina, a young lady of fifteen years found herself standing near North Cape. She was here fro the same reason she had come here fro the past five years; she brought food for the man known as the Prophet. She had seen much in her short life: The fall of Mount Woe, the completion of the Ocean Palace and its subsequent destruction, the literal fall of the Kingdom of Zeal, the rise and fall, in one day no less, of the so-called 'Kingdom of Dalton' and the rise and fall of the Black Omen. It was in fact shortly after the fall of the Black Omen that the Prophet had appeared. She remembered that day quite well, she had been looking for some flowers that had recently grew due to the climate change when she had been attacked by a Beast monster, a remnant from the beast's nest. She had attempted to run, but being only ten at the time she could never have outrun it. She had stumbled and fell, cringing, covering her eyes, praying that the monster would just go away, knowing it wouldn't. A shadow had suddenly fallen over her, but the creature that projected it moved no closer to her. Fearfully, she opened her eyes and then she saw him: the red cloaked back of the Prophet, his long violet hair blowing in the wind, his face twisted in an expression of anger and rage.

"If there is one thing I hate most, it's a monster picking on defenseless children." He said coldly, the beast hesitating, confused due to the sudden appearance of the newcomer.

The monster began growling, readying itself to charge the Prophet, but he just smiled confidently. The Prophet began to trace mystic symbols in the air, chanting arcane words, calling magical energy to him. As he came to an end of his spell, he pointed at the beast and smiled maliciously.

"Now die and be silent!" He said, unleashing his spell.

An orb of pure darkness engulfed the creature, the dark bomb spell's effect taking place. After the dark orb vanished there remained no trace of the creature. Aina was in shock, due to the monster's attack and the fact that it had been the first time she had seen magic of any kind cast.

"Children shouldn't be out here." He stated, turning to Aina.

She was frozen, could neither move nor speak due to shock. The Prophet sighed and proceeded to pick her up, cradling her in his arms. To her, he felt gentle and strong, but sad too. For the first time in a long time, she felt safe.

It had created quite a stir in the village when they saw the Prophet carrying her; those who had been known as the Enlightened Ones recognized him and backed away, shuddering in fear whispering amongst themselves, except for Fiona, who continued to tend to her garden. Those who had been the Earthbound Ones also backed away in fear, for the Prophet exuded an aura that created a 'creepy' feeling, at least to them. The Prophet placed Aina at the feet of the Elder of the village, who showed no signs of fear at the presence of the Prophet. A smile playing at his lips he turned to the cowering Enlightened Ones and began to chant and draw mystic symbols in the air. When, at last he pointed to them they ran in all directions, like so many scared rabbits. The Prophet laughed mocking laughter as he glowed green, showing that the spell was only a magic barrier.

"Lo how the mighty have fallen!" He walked away as he continued to laugh.

Afterwards, and for the next five years, Aina brought the Prophet food and water as thanks for his help that day. He never said a word to her when she visited, so she knew nothing about him. She had had to talk to those who had seen him at Zeal palace. They had only known him as the Prophet and that he appeared a few months before the incident at the Ocean Palace and they believed that he had been manipulating the Queen somehow and thus was responsible for the collapse of the Kingdom of Zeal, the fact that he could use magic when they no longer could was final proof, according to them. Aina never believed them and so visited the Prophet every day, to tell the truth she was smitten with him. She had just one wish: that he would at least talk to her.

******

Magus sat cross-legged on the cliff of North Cape, his rod at his side. During the last battle against Lavos, his scythe had broken and the blade had been irretrievable, he used the remaining piece to make a rod; it wasn't his preferred weapon but it would suffice. After the final battle, he had had no idea where to go: he could not stay in the year 1000 AD, people knew about him from paintings and stories of his deeds four hundred years ago, 600 AD was definitely out of the question and he would never fit in during 65000000 BC or 2300 AD, so what other choice did he have? Schala had disappeared in the year 12000 BC, so it was as good a place to start as any. When he had arrived he had saved a young girl from being a monster's snack. He neither expected nor desired the villagers' appreciation for his act, in fact he had enjoyed making the 'Enlightened Ones' squirm beneath his display of power. What he had not expected was that the girl he had saved would begin bringing him food everyday. Magus cared not why she did it, only that it allowed him more time to focus on his true goal: finding Schala. He spent four long years sending out his magical sight, using it to explore every nook and cranny of the planet; double-checking areas in which new lands appeared and people migrated to. He came to the conclusion that she was nowhere on the planet in this era and so began to re-examine the possibilities and even what he had done with his life up to that point. As the hours, days and weeks went by, the only consistency remained that the girl, Aina he thought her name was, came and gave her food. Today he had come to a decision; all of the thinking, theorizing and magic he had were going to come into practice today. For the first time he rose to greet Aina as she approached, she was again carrying a plate of food for him.

"Greetings, Aina wasn't it?" He said as she approached

Aina came to a halt, it was the first time he had uttered so much as a noise at her let alone a question. She stood there staring at him, her mouth slightly open in surprise. Magus began to grow impatiently.

"After all these years, are you now afraid of me?" He asked.

Gathering up her courage, she closed her mouth and approached Magus. As she presented him with the plate of food, she attempted to keep her hands from shaking, though if it was from fear or nervousness she could not tell.

"I-I'm not afraid, I-I just never heard you talk before." And indeed, his voice did sound different than she had thought it would: it was deep and melodious like the voice of a male 'Enlightened One' but it was cold and sorrowful too.

They both sat down to eat and talk. Aina was very happy that she could finally speak with him. He never got into much detail about his life. When she had called him Prophet he snickered and corrected her.

"That's not my name, that's something that Queen Zeal called me because of my ability to 'see' the future." He had said between bites.

"What is your name then?" Aina asked venturing forward.

Magus merely smiled and rose. He spoke no words to her as he turned his back; it was now time for him to leave.

"There is something you must do." He said suddenly. "You must leave here and never come back."

"B-but why? Is it because the food's not good? I can get better!" She cried worriedly.

"It has nothing to do with you." He replied calmly. "I will be doing something very dangerous here and, regardless of whether I succeed or fail, I'm not coming back. Now go."

Aina, tears in her eyes proceeded to leave. As she was about to leave, though, Magus turned to her.

"My name is Janus." He said to her.

She turned and paused for a moment. Then she smiled and ran off. Magus then turned to the spell at hand. He pulled at his gloves in anticipation. It was going to essentially be the same spell as when he summoned Lavos to his castle in 600 AD.

Or is that will summon? He wondered. Ah, time travel: the ultimate grammatical paradox.

The major difference between that spell and this one was the target and the search parameters. This time he was looking for Schala in the time-stream. Other than that the spell was identical. This time Lavos could not interfere, Crono, Lucca and himself had traveled through the Black Omen and had vanquished it. He stretched out his arms and began to chant. He could feel the energy building and focusing and he hoped, that in spite of the fact that the time gates had closed, his spell would work.

"Neuga, Zeina, Zeiber, Zom. Now the chosen time has come." He chanted, watching the black portal open in the middle of space.

In the background, he could see a monstrous shadow. The portal began to fluctuate and the area around him seemed to shift as something began to pull him in. He swore under his breath and crossed his arms to defend himself, but to no avail as he was sucked into the portal. It closed and no trace of Magus was found.


Chapter 4

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