Chrono Trigger: Dare Chapter 10
The rest of them snapped back from their stupor a few seconds after I did. Kain spoke up first.
"Wow. So this is Zeal. I always thought, well, that it was, like, um, only one huge city. And there would be just one large thing in the middle with parapets and turrets and towers and all that stuff. Everything would be gleaming and stuff, just like this, but different."
"I know what you mean. This is better than better than I had expected." Cid got in his two bits.
"Its pretty. Just like a poisonous flower is pretty," I said as I headed to Khazdian. Zealian cities werent exactly cities, they were castles, ones for knowledge and not defense, where scholars studied and taught, and where guests of the ruling class stayed. The rest of the population stayed in a sort of basement below the castle. The underground cities were designed to take care of every citizens whim so that none ever thought of revolting. Most of the citizens spent their time dreaming, while slaves from the world below them catered to their every need.
I had intended to stay in Khazdian only as long as it took us to get to the exit on the other side, but once within the walls of the great city, I couldnt help but stay a while. The entrance was actually on the second floor, with stairs to my left and right leading down into the first floor. A narrow bridge, intersected by another bridge at its middle to form a large circular meeting area, led the way to the other side, and all along this bridge were the philosophers and dreamers of Zeal. They moved as if they had all the time and resources in the world, and in a way they did; the power of Lavos would last as long as there was any life on the planet.
We walked down the bridge and to the intersection, arriving in the meeting area just as a group of scientists began arguing with surprising passion about the existence of life on other planets.
"Well, we all admit it is a possibility. Thats common ground. Let us try to build on that," one scientist said.
"Bah! Who needs to build anything when it is already built for us? Our histories tell us that King Zeal arrived here from another planet. What more proof do you need? Or do you doubt the Kings word?" a second scientist responded. The first scientist refused to speek.
A third man, one with glasses as thick as Luccas, rose to the challenge of the debate.
"But that is not science! The King hasnt spoken to anyone aside from his direct advisors in over a millennium. Isnt it possible that over a thousand years, stories could have been twisted and changed? Time, after all, is a very strange thing."
"Fool! Who needs science? Why waste your time trying to improve and perfect when you have everything you could ever want or need provided for you by the power of the almighty Mostern?" the second man argued.
"Why, to make the use of that power more efficient, of course. By refining the Mammon Machine, we can create even more beautiful structures, plant even more beautiful gardens, and live longer, more lavish lives!" the third mans speech brought cheers from everyone around him. Now, the first man decided to speak again.
"Thank you, sir, but we must get back to the original debate."
"Crono, can we leave? I dont like this place very much," Kain told me. I looked at him, puzzled.
"Nothing. Its just that nevermind. I just dont like this place, thats all."
I shrugged and said, "Fine. Well leave. Come on Lucca, Cid, lets go."
Disappointed at missing the outcome of the debate, the two exchanged glances then followed Kain and me out the exit.
We arrived at the second skygate, and were transported to the second landgate. To make up for our rather hasty exit from Khazdian, I told the others that we could take a break in the garden.
I looked around for the flower I had seen earlier and found it in even more abundance here. I put a few more in my waist bag, along with a flower with orange petals. It only had four broad petals, but each petal had streaks of green and blue, forming a different design on each petal. Each petal seemed to radiate its own special scent, and when I sniffed all of them together, I could almost feel my olfactory bulb dancing in my head. In the middle of the flower was a blue mark similar in shape to a diamond. Suddenly, I felt a bit self-conscious. I turned around awkwardly, and saw Lucca, Kain, and Cid all staring at me.
"What?" I asked coolly.
I only got mumbled responses about flowers are for wimps, followed by a gasp from Lucca. She pointed to a far end of the room, where a small tree was growing. On that tree, a small red fruit of some kind or other hung from a small branch. Lucca rushed over to it and paced around the sapling.
"Its amazing. Ive never seen anything like all of this before. All these flowers, trees, grasses, shrubs, and designs are just brilliant. We dont have this on Earth," Lucca said the last part sadly.
"But, we do have Fiona's Forest," I told her, trying to cheer her up.
She looked up, then shook her head. She looked at the fruit and bent down as if to examine the crimson delight.
"Hmmm " I heard her say. She began mumbling to herself again. Her hand snaked up towards the fruit and grabbed it, then pulled. The fruit didnt come off, but something else did happen. All of a sudden, the grass in one corner of the room disappeared, and instead was another type of teleportation device. Instead of the usual pink color for the skygates and the landgates, this was pulsating with a rich, deep blue.
"Aha! Thought so!" Lucca smiled victoriously.
"Howd you know about that thing?" I asked.
"Complex mathematics," she explained. "Um lets see. In laymans terms, the tree was too perfect."
"Riiight. So, if somethings too perfect, then it is not real?" I tried to sum it all up.
"As I said, complex mathematics. Things can be perfect, but they cant be too perfect. The adage is correct; if something is too good to be true, then it is. I think I proved that mathematically about four years ago."
I decided to drop the subject.
"Hey guys, look what I found!" Lucca shouted, motioning the others over.
"Ah. I had intended to take a look at this tree. I proved a while ago that objects cannot be too perfect," Kain said. Lucca looked at him aghast!
"What! That was my proof! When did you prove it?" Lucca demanded.
"Your proof? I proved that about four years ago! If we were back at the hideout, Id show you original proof itself, signed and dated!"
"Cid, I proved that four years ago too! I swear on the Superstring Theory itself!"
"Hmm. Ill take your word as a scientist for it. Once were done with this, well share the credit."
I shook my head.
"Scientists," I said with joking disdain. "I dont know what Ill do with you." The two looked at me and grinned. I grinned back and then looked at the runes on the ground.
"Why not see where this goes?" I said as I moved over to the pulsating blue circle on the ground and stepped on it. I closed my eyes, then felt myself floating up slowly, then plummeting down. When I opened my eyes, I found myself in the Land of Summoned Monsters again. Behind me, Lucca, Cid, and Kain appeared in that order, each arriving, moving off the runes, then staring as they had done on their arrival to Zeal.
Ahead of me, Ramuh greeting me with open arms, and behind him a few more summoned monsters stared back at us. I turned to Lucca, a ridiculous grin stretching from ear to ear.
"Now Lucca, do you believe in summoning monsters?" I laughed as I strode up to Ramuh and hugged him like an old friend.
As I exchanged greetings with the old man, Kain backed away slowly until he was against the back wall. I turned to them questioningly.
"What the hell do you think youre doing?" I asked them.
"Um Crono? If you havent noticed, theyre monsters!" Kain shouted.
"Um Kain? If you havent noticed, I know!" I mimicked him. Kains only response was a sour face. I explained the difference between summoned monsters and normal ones. Cid helped by adding yess and of courses to everything I said. He knew summoning since he was the person who cast Titan on me in the half-burned hut. Lucca was also listening intently, as if the explanation in the Epoch didnt matter.
"So, wheres the fire monster?" Lucca asked.
I grinned at her and she pursed her lips to hide a smile, the joke exchanged only in a look.
"You mean Ifrit? Ask Ramuh," I said to her, then turned to Kain.
"Kain, do you know any magic?" I asked.
"Nope. Not a single bit," he said almost proudly. "I dont need anything but my lance here to win a fight," he added.
I nodded, knowing how he felt. I felt the same way before I was taken to the End of Time back on Earth. There, I was shown just how powerful magic could be compared to normal attacks. Searing hot flames on the back of my neck interrupted my thoughts. I had a very good idea of what was happening though. I turned around, and I was right.
In front of me was a giant jinni, with spiraling white horns coming out of his deformed head. He wore only pants, the shirt presumably had been burned off, and flames danced on his exposed skin. He dwarfed Lucca beside him, making her seem like a porcelain doll next to a giant man. She looked up in amazement as the giant taught her his spell: Hellfire. Lucca thanked it, and it lumbered off. She came over to me and started yapping on how amazing this was and how you should have told me about this sooner. I could tell she was joking and let her finish.
"Ramuh, I think Im gonna need more help. What summon do you think I should master?" I asked after Lucca had finished and smiled at me.
"Well Crono, you might try either Ifrit or Shiva," he told me. I nodded, then went up to Shiva, the closest of the two.
"Shiva, I challenge you for your summon technique," I announced. The female ice-monster nodded curtly, then took a few steps backwards.
Assuming my normal attack position, I waited to see what she had in store for me. I watching in awe as, just like Marle, she pointed her finger at me and ordered a blizzard to knock me down. Pound upong pound of snow buried and chilled me. What was worse, the snow melted once it touched me, wetting my clothes. Mustering all my strength, I pushed and dug my way out of the mound of snow, then came straight for Shiva. She was prepared however, and erected a wall of ice between her and me. I broke it down in an instant with two slashes of my sword. I brought my weapon back up again to deliver the final blow, but a gust of chill wind and hail hit me. I turned my shoulder towards the gale, and fought forward until I was two feet away from Shiva. I hoped I could stop the storm from blowing me away until my sword made contact with her skin. I held my breath, readied my sword, and then brought it down. I couldnt tell if I had struck or not; when your sword cuts through anything without slowing down or registering any resistance, you really need to see what youre doing. Suddenly, I felt my ground slip, then a ball of ice hit me on my back. I fell down and prepared myself to be battered by the wind while I gathered enough strength to launch another attack, but to my surprise, they did not. I looked up and saw Shiva with a huge gash across her chest. The blood that was seeping out was also instantly becoming solid. Shiva looked to Ramuh and nodded, then sank slowly to her knees, one hand on her wound. The gash looked pretty deep. I hadnt intended to hurt her that much.
Instantly, another monster appeared with bandages in her hands. She layed Shiva out on the floor and bandaged the wounds, then muttered a curative spell. The strain vanished from ice elementals face as the wound closed. A minute later, the first monster helped her to her feet and over to me.
Bending down, she whispered "Just say: Diamond Dust, fall and freeze, and Ill be there to help."
Thanking her, I looked around for Kain, Cid, and Lucca. I spotted Cid and Lucca chatting and laughing, which came to as no surprise to me. I relished the fact that Lucca, my lifelong friend and pseudo-mentor seemed to have a boyfriend finally. I decided to leave the budding couple alone and look for Kain. I scoured the room we were in and found no trace of the young dragoon. I asked Ramuh if he had seen him, but he had not.
He didnt appear until a few minutes after I had given up on my search and sat down to relax.
"Kain! Where on Aire have you been?" I asked him sternly.
"Um nowhere. Or um uh around. Yeah, thats it, around. Ive been around," he said nervously.
I rolled my eyes.
"Yeah, sure. Ok then, now that youre here, lets go."
"No! I want to learn magic!" Kain said indignantly.
I glanced at him sharply. I was about to tell him that he couldnt learn magic, when Ramuh interrupted.
"Child, you do not posses the ability to learn magic. Do not worry. Some people gain the ability later on. Once you do, you will know. Come back then," Ramuh told him softly.
Kains shoulders slumped. He turned to me, and very quietly, he said, "Lets go."
I motioned for the Cid and Lucca to meet us at the exit, then I turned back to Kain.
"Kain, I began, but he stopped me.
"Lets go Crono," he said. I could tell the way his eyes sparkled and the way his jaw was set that he would come back here again and again until he was able to use magic and summon, just like the rest of us.
I nodded curtly, then led the way to the large glowing blue circle of runes on the dusty ground.
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