Chrono Trigger: Dare Chapter 31
Another Set of Revelations
Sometime during the night, I woke up suddenly, almost as if someone prodded me awake. Groggy, thirsty, and still trying to sort things out in my mind, I made my way downstairs into the kitchen, hoping that a drink would clear my mind. On the way, I went around the mattresses with sleeping people on them: Frog, Cid, Ecin, Kain, and Ayla. Robo sat hunched over in a corner, the quiet night accenting the whirring of his insides. Marle and Lucca had gone to their homes, and Magus and Schala were out, somewhere. I needed to talk to someone. But I needed a drink more. Staggering into the kitchen, I got a cup and filled it with water. Nothing could have felt better than that drink. Would it be my last? Would I ever get to drink again? And for that matter, would I ever eat or play or laugh or live again? With each mouthful of water, I thought of more questions. Suddenly, the room felt stuffy, hot. I needed some fresh air. Maybe it would clear my mind where the water didnt.
The air didnt do anything the water didnt. In fact, I began to wonder whether after Ibleess I would ever breathe again. Would I get another chance to enjoy the weather? Would I ever feel the warmth of the sun on my back? After Ibleess, would I ever feel the world again? Too many questions and no answers. I fell to my knees on the grass, breathing heavily.
"No. Im not going to die. Im going to beat Ibleess. Crono, stop questioning yourself!" I told myself in desperation. "Youve faced planet-killers and survived. Youve stared the ultimate nightmare in the eye and lived to tell about it. You can do this. I can do this," I muttered. But if I could do this, why was I so worried? Why did the thought of beating Ibleess fill me with a feeling of doubt?
"Looks like youre not so cocky after all, Crono," that haunting voice that plagued me ever since my escape from King Zeals palace mocked.
"What are you doing here? Should you be with Fate mocking me, or something? I have enough problems," I growled at Tsern.
"Temper, temper. I just came to see how you were doing," He grinned maliciously. "And why youre kneeling down in front of my house."
I looked at him, the shock plain on my face. He didnt know! He didnt know I was his son!
"Your house? From what Ive heard, its not so much your house as it is mine."
Tsern looked at me coldly, then took a deep breath.
"About twenty years ago, the woman I married moved out of her house. At the time, I was lets just say I didnt want to attract any attention, to me or to her, by looking for her. Now, the situation is different and Ive come to enjoy the comforts of my home. So now, what do you mean that its not my house?" Tsern said forcefully. I guessed his day was as bad as mine was.
"All I know is that you havent lived in it for twenty years," I told him smugly.
"True enough. But that woman and I are still married and therefor its my house. So now, what do you mean its your house?" he shot back.
"Because for all the years you werent there, I was."
"What do you mean? You lived in this house for two decades?"
"Yeah. And only know did I find out who my father is. Care to take a guess?"
" No! It cant be! Im not your father!" Tserns hands shook with rage. "I cant be your father!"
"You are. Who else would be called Tsern Deus?" I told him. I had to fight the urge to punch him.
"I dont believe it! I refuse to believe it!"
"Believe it. Im your son. And you tried to use me. You tried to kill me!" I shouted, letting go of my anger. It felt good to get rid of my stress. I came closer to him.
"Stay away from me, boy. You might have been brought back to life once once, but if you come nearer, Ill make sure youll never get resurrected. Even if by some odd twist of fate that you are my son."
"Hey dad, did you just hear yourself talk? You said the word fate. Does that mean anything to you?"
"You mean that Ahhhhh!" Tsern screamed, splitting the night with an unearthly ululation.
"Thats right. He played you too. Weve both been pieces in his game, only you didnt realize it until it was too late. And Ill bet that hes the one who gave you the idea of killing me."
"Im sorry. Im so sorry. I didnt know," Tsern whimpered.
"Neither did I. Mom told me."
"Your mother I miss her. How is she? Youre taking care of her, right?"
I nodded slowly.
"Yeah, I take care of her. Too bad you werent around. She could have used a friend, especially five years ago," I told him. Tsern bowed his head, and when he brought it up, moonlight reflected off the tears forming in his eyes.
"Please. I did what I had to. If I hadnt left, you and your mother would have died."
"Mom told me that too. She told me that you told her a lie about someone hunting you."
"Its not a lie! Its the truth!" he said indignantly.
"Prove it!" I shouted.
" How? I cant I wont travel back in time. Too many rifts through time will damage this world. How am I supposed to prove something to you that can only be proven by going back in time?" he asked, anger showing through his normally restrained voice.
"Who was it? Who was hunting you?" My eyes thinned to slits, expecting another lie.
"WHAT?" I bellowed.
"Yes. Ibleess is the one hunting me. Hes been hunting me all this time."
"But why?" I asked, my mind still suffering from the shock of too many surprises a day.
"When he was created, I realized what all my work had evolved into. Remember that Lavos was my creation, so I am responsible for Ibleesss existence as well. I tried to destroy him multiple times, but he escaped every time. It was my fault; I underestimated him. But he became too strong for me to do anything about him without the help of the three artifacts. Hes angry with me for not allowing him to live, for hunting him down like an animal. Now, the hunter is the hunted, and I cant stay in any place but my dimension for more than a few days at a time. Do you still believe that Im lying?"
"No. Not anymore."
A moment of awkward silence ensued, each of us trying to think of what to say, but failing miserably. Finally, I broke the silence.
"Tsern I mean dad we need to talk about beating Ibleess. And avoiding the fate Fate has planned for us."
"Please, just call me Tsern. Calling me dad will only complicate things. And yes, wed better figure out how to beat Ibleess."
We spent a good part of the night arranging battle plans and talking about the virtues of my mother. I offered to let him into the house but he refused, saying that Ibleess could hunt him down and that hed better leave. By morning, there was no more sign of him. I only hoped that he hadnt forgotten our plans. Knowing Tsern, he probably would just to prove that I couldnt beat Ibleess. Knowing my dad, he would remember and come through. I took a quick shower then sauntered down to where my friends were sleeping. To my surprise, they were all awake and talking as if the end of the world was at hand and they all had something vital to our survival to say. They didnt even notice me until I announced that whoever wanted a shower could borrow some towels and help him (or her) self. That sparked a whole new argument about who was going to take a shower and when. By the time everything was sorted out, my mother had breakfast ready.
Not even the sight of food stopped the talking. Cid, Kain, and Ecin all wanted to hear the history of Earth, and who better to explain it to them than Robo, Frog, and Ayla? I ate quietly, withdrawn, not wanting to dampen the spirits by reminding them that our lives might be close to an end. Five years ago, when I stood up to Lavos in the Undersea Palace, I did not think about what might happen. The only thing I could think of was that by standing my ground, I could somehow allow Marle and the others time to escape. This time, it was different. Even if sacrificed myself, my friends lives could be forfeit too; Ibleess wouldnt just stop at killing me. He wanted to kill Tsern and everything having to do with Tsern, including my friends, my mother, and my planet. Even though I failed to stop Lavos back then, I still succeeded; my friends beat it and revived me. But if I failed now, it would be complete and total, with no way out. A hard knocking at the door snapped me out of my reverie.
"Good morning " I was cut short by an intense glare coming from behind a dark cloak.
" Out of the way, kid," Magus growled as I opened the door. The mage pushed past me and headed straight for the table, where breakfast was still fair game.
"Magus, be nice. Hes your host," Schala scolded him, then turned to me. "Good morning, Crono."
"Good morning, Schala. Want some breakfast?" I asked as she walked into my house.
"No thank you. Magus fed me well. Although he didnt eat as much as I thought he would."
I nodded, closed the door, and followed her back to the table. Magus had taken my seat and was eating as fast and as much as he possibly could. The others didnt seem to notice him, but they did notice Schala, and soon, they were comparing Zeal on Earth to Zeal on Aire. Oddly enough, none of them seemed to mind talking about the thing that caused them the most pain in their lives.
Marle and Lucca arrived later in the day, helped themselves to the never-dwindling supply of food in my larder (with my permission, of course), and joined in the conversation. Then finally, at sunset, all conversation slowly ended, leaving an awkward silence. I saw my chance, no matter how much I hated to do it, and took it.
"Um this seems as good a time as any to come up with battle plans for tomorrow. Any objections?" I asked meekly.
"I was just about to say the same thing, boy," Magus agreed gruffly. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Schala elbow him in the gut.
"Ok then. Heres how I see it "
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