Nature of the Enemy Prologue

By Cain

Based on the "Crono the Dark Mage" ending

Magus stood solemnly before the shrine, his arms stretched out to the side. He chanted slowly, but determinedly. Today was the day. Throughout the years, he'd thought of nothing but this day, of his revenge on the thing that had destroyed his life, and taken him from everything he had cared about. However, none of his inner thoughts intruded upon his chanting, which continued on undisturbed. So many years he had practiced the chants and spells, committing them to memory and beyond. He sometimes awoke chanting, as if in meditation.

But his sleep was no meditation. Sleep, for him, was torture, always knowing that this thing, this evil, was alive and well, perfectly satisfied with having destroyed Janus, and taken the boy from everything he had known. Now Janus was gone, and there was only Magus, the consummate vengeance machine. And his nightmares would never let him forget it.

Nothing would deny his revenge, this time. Last time, a decade ago, the knight Cyrus had interrupted the ceremony, but not now. No, Cyrus was long dead, his ashes engrained in the dirt of Mt. Denadoro. And no person would ever come after Magus with that accursed Masamune again, not after he'd hidden the blade of the sword in that cave. And if they did find it and come after him, then they would die by his hand.

But Magus didn't care. That day, if it ever came, was far away. And Magus' day of glory, of revenge, was at hand. Nothing could ruin this day, not the psychotic Flea, nor the bothersome Slash, not even the bumbling Ozzie.

Magus' head sank backward, and his eyes closed, in the closest he had felt in a long time to true joy. But the emotion wasn't confined by humans terms. Not that Magus was human anyway. Or so he kept telling himself. But could Schala, dear sweet, never forgotten Schala, ever have had an inhuman brother. No, most certainly not. But in almost every sense of the word, he was a Mystic, no, the Mystic.

None could possibly hope to compare to his power, his skill, his grace, his majesty. Even the mighty Lavos would fall at the hands of the prince of Zeal. And then, using his supreme abilities, he'd take from Lavos the power that sent Janus through time, and use it to send himself back. Back to Schala.

He vaguely wondered if she'd accept him, what he'd become. But she had to. She was his big sister. And if she didn't accept him, he'd use that ability to go through time once more, and kill Lavos before he could harm her, or Zeal, or anyone else in the kingdom of Zeal. And he might be able to save Zeal itself.

He'd heard myths and legends of how Zeal, a magical floating kingdom had once existed, but something had made it fall. What had it been? Had it been Lavos himself? Or something else entirely? Whatever the case, Magus was determined to stop it, and restore Zeal to its proper glory. If necessary, he himself would rule it.

But he'd cross those bridges when he came to them. The time was nearing. He had to prepare himself, mentally and physically for the battle ahead.

He had seen Lavos once in his life, for a fleeting moment, and its raw power had terrified him, back when he was still Janus. But now he was the Magus, and more than that, he was intelligent. Not only would this spell summon the creature to him, but it would weaken the thing, enough that he could destroy it, or so he hoped. If Lavos was still too strong, than Magus would be dead-center at a veritable tornado of power. But it was always safer at the eye of a storm. Perhaps he could still defeat the fiend.

But, whether he could win or not, he was determined to try. Tonight, he was at the height of his power, and it was quite possible that he'd never get any more powerful than he was now. So this was as good a day as any to avenge himself.

Magus' inner thoughts quieted, as the chant coming from Magus' lips began to grow louder. Magus knew that one slip, one wrong word, one omitted word in the wrong place could spell his doom. So he concentrated on the words he should say.

"Takessa, kyrika, foregger, kloom..."

The time was drawing nearer now.

"Come, thou fiend, unto thy doom..."

The spell was beginning to form, the air taking on a faint glow.

"Neuga, ziena, zieber, zom..."

So close, Magus' fingers began to twitch with the raw power he was getting ready to release.

"Now, the chosen time has come..."

Magus was shaking in anticipation. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't contain his excitement much longer...

"Exchange this world for ones beyond..."

It was coming, it was coming!

"That I may break this vengeful bond!"

Magus fell to his knees, as the last syllable was spoken, out of breath. He hadn't realized the spell would take so much out of him. But if it had worked right, as he thought it had, Lavos would be in even worse shape than he was.

Abruptly, the shrine shattered, stone shards flying everywhere. Magus lacked the energy at the moment to shield himself from the debris, but soon found it unnecessary. Not one stone hit him, all of them landing beside, before, or behind him. The spell recognized its caster. Magus smiled. This spell was sentient, to a point. He was almost certain, now, that it would be effective.

As he watched, a small rift seemed to open in the air before him, shedding light onto his caped form. Magus didn't react, not really sure what this indicated. The rift widened, and grew more round, until it had formed a perfect circle. The circle got wider and wider, until it eventually filled up the entire side of the room. Magus prepared to step in, to face the unholy thing, but was unable. Something held him back.

Magus was surprised. Why was he not allowed to enter and fight the beast? Was it expected to come here? Even from such an enormous hole, a thing that large could not fit. It simply wasn't possible. But, the spell was semi-sentient, so there must be a reason.

Magus stood back up, as he saw something begin to form within the depths of the light coming from the circle. It was a shadow, slight, but definitely there. He drew his scythe. Lavos was definitely coming now, whether it would fit or not. And Magus was ready for it.

Magus' brow tightened as he noticed two other forms, on opposing sides of the original. To his memory, Lavos had not had arms. What were these other forms? And then he soon recognized them.

They were human. Three humans. But how? Magus hadn't done anything wrong in casting the spell. It should have worked perfectly.

He didn't move from his position, as the three forms stepped out. The first was a boy, seventeen or eighteen at most. His spiky red hair was blood-soaked, as was his bandanna. He carried a simple sword in hand, and looked like he'd just been in the battle of his life.

The next two were both girls, about the same age as the boy, and looking equally bruised and beaten. One wore all white, and carried a crossbow with ease. Her hair had been pulled back into a ponytail, probably so as not to obstruct her vision. Her face, though it looked to be pretty, was set with a grim expression.

The other girl was wearing strange clothes, and carried two weapons: One a long hammer, which looked more like a croquet mallet, the other looked like the toy that he had seen children playing with, the pellet gun, only more dangerous-looking. She wore a helmet, and spectacles, one of the lenses slightly cracked.

The hole closed up silently behind the three, and the room was silent, save for the labored breathing of the three warriors. They had apparently been in a recent battle, although nothing else had come from the circle. Whatever fight they'd been in, not only did they survive, they had apparently won.

The blonde stepped closer to Magus, apparently the group spokesperson. "Who are you," she asked, "and what are we doing here?"

Magus didn't put away his scythe, keeping a wary eye on the three. "Who I am is none of your business. But I demand that you tell me who you are, and if you know why Lavos isn't here."

The helmeted girl stepped up. "Lavos," she asked, "Was he supposed to appear here?"

Magus nodded curtly, angered that she'd stalled for time by repeating his question.

"Well," the helmeted girl, replied, lifting up her hammer slightly, "I'm assuming that means that you're the Magus, ruler of the Mystics, right?"

Magus nodded again. "Of course. Who else would I be? Now answer my question: Who are you, and why did Lavos not come in your place?"

This time, the boy spoke up quietly. "We destroyed it, wizard. And now we're going to destroy you as well, so that you can't make another one," he stated simply.

Magus stepped back, surprised. "You destroyed it? How? How could you three children... Create? I didn't-"

"Enough," the boy interrupted, and aimed his palm at the Mystic.

Several lines of green light began to twirl around the boy's hand, and converged in a single spot at the center of his palm. From that spot, a green bubble grew outwards, throwing out light so bright that Magus' sensitive eyes were blinded by it.

The bubble engulfed the Mystic, racking him with electricity. It then exploded forward, throwing Magus' charred form end over end, away from the three teens, into the wall, and through it, out into the open air surrounding the castle.

Clinging onto life with every ounce of strength he had, Magus tried to look for something to grab on to. But all he could see was the night sky above him, as he plummeted down toward the ground. He looked up as long as he could, because he knew it was the last thing he would ever see.

He was right.


Part 1

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