Chrono Trigger: Dare Chapter 5
The Power to Summon
I fell. For an eternity, I thought I was dead. The fact that I hit something that gave way easily snapped my consciousness back into my body, and I was aware of hitting another thing much like it, then smashing into cold water. My consciousness decided it had had enough and left. The last thing I remember was that I couldnt breathe.
* * *
"My child, wake up!"
The voice brought back memories of the headache I sported when I first arrived here. This one echoed more. Or maybe it was the voice. I woke up with a start, instantly awake and aware that something was amiss.
"Where am I? Who are you? Wheres Marle?"
"You are in the land of summoned monsters. I am Ramuh. I have no idea who Marle is, much less where she is."
For the first time I looked at my host. He looked like an old man, dressed in white robes, with a large fluffy white beard and an earth colored staff.
"Land of what? Monsters?" I asked surprised. Wasting no time, I reached at my side for my sword, but it wasnt there.
"You have no need to worry. We will not harm you. Summoned monsters do not attack unless summoned," he responded.
"You said we "
"Yes. Ifrit, Shiva, Titan, me, and the rest of the summoned monsters."
"Ah. What are you?" I asked. At this moment, manners hadnt returned with my consciousness.
"Summoned monsters are ones that can be summoned, or called upon to attack the callers enemy. Each monster has its own attack. For instance, I attack with Lightning. Just like you, I noticed."
I nodded; the strings of comprehension started coming together in my mind.
"So, the giants that attacked Marle and me up there were summoned monsters?" I asked.
"I dont know. What did they attack with?" He shot back.
"Well, one attacked with ice, and one attacked with fire, and another just made the earth split apart," I replied.
"The ice was Shiva, the fire was Ifrit, and the earth was Titan," he responded.
I nodded slowly, digesting the information.
"So, how do people go about summoning monsters?" I asked, Marle temporarily out of my mind.
"It cannot be taught. It has to be gleaned." He paused for a second. "You must understand something. Summon magic is not like normal magic. If you summon Shiva, the one that casts ice, on a person who wields normal ice magic, the person will not be hurt. It is the law of elements. One element cannot harm the same element. Now, each element has its opposite, and those inflict the maximum damage on the original element. For instance, I am lightning. I have no real opposite, but the closest one would be earth. Earth will inflict the maximum amount of damage to you and. Ice has fire as its opposite, but waters weak point is lightning. Earth has a weakness towards water as well."
Ramuh was actually making sense to me. I opened my mouth to speak, but he knew what I was going to say.
"You want to learn how to summon. But I warn you it is not easy. You have completed the first task by having your own type of magic, and that allows you to summon. But to have many monsters at your command, you must first show that you can control each one. You must defeat the monster here."
That piece of information ruined my plans. I wanted to collect any type of summon magic I could find, then go back to the surface and rescue Marle. Marle! The thought of her up there alone with the callers was dreadful.
"Ramuh, I have left a friend up on top, and I think she is in great danger. I need to return at once," I said with urgency.
"I will aid you in helping your friend, but first, you must learn a summon."
"But I thought you said "
"Oh my, did I leave out a part? I am sorry. Ones mind becomes feeble at my age. You do not have to fight the monster whose magic element is your own. As I stated, I am a lightning elemental, and so are you, which makes me your first summon. To call me, pretend you are casting a magic spell, but before you complete it, say this: Judgement Bolt, strike now! I will come to your aid then," Ramuh assured me.
"What is judgement bolt?" I asked confused.
"Judgement bolt is the name of my attack, just like your attacks have names such as cyclone, and lightning," he informed me.
"Wait a second. How do you know my attacks?" The entire thing was now sounding too farfetched for me.
Ramuh turned his back to me, as if in deep thought. "An era is ending, Crono, and you play a major role. The stars have decided your fate, and you are playing the part they choose. Like the well-rehearsed play, all the actors know their part just as well as they know the other parts. I have played a similar part more times than I care to remember. But a word of advice: fight fate. That which is fated does not necessarily happen."
"What do you mean?"
"What you are fated to do is based on the here and now. For instance, I prognosticate that you will ask another question. I made this foretelling based on what I know at this moment. Of course, five seconds from my prophecy might change because I might answer your question before you pose it to me. As another example, say that I have foretold your death at the hands of a madman. It would mean that at this present point in time, if all things continue the way they are and if nothing changes, then you will die that death. Do you now see how inaccurate and misleading prophecy is?"
I nodded quickly and grabbed my sword from his now outstretched hands. I rushed to the door, but turned around sheepishly.
"Um, Ramuh? How do I get back up?"
For once, the old man smiled.
"You will be flown on the wings of Bahamut," he said gently.
I wondered what he meant as I stepped out of the door. Suddenly I heard a terrifying screech from above me. I have only seen one dragon before, five years ago. It was a giant machine held together by tape and not nearly a good imitation of a real one. If ever there was a creature created to inspire fear, the dragon is it. As I saw the screaching beast descend from the heavens, no amount of courage could stop me from jumping back in absolute terror.
"Do not be afraid, little one. No monster can hurt you down here," the thing spoke in a booming voice.
I took a cautious step closer. I was no stranger to fear and danger, but unless I had a reason, I prefered to err on the side of caution.
"Do not be afraid, for I am Bahamut, lord of the skies." It spoke again.
Behind me, Ramuh whispered in my ears.
"It is safe. Do not worry."
"Im not worrying about that," I lied. "Its just how do I get back down here?"
"You must find another way. Bahamut cannot ferry you, and nor can you fall every time you have need of us. Trust me, there are other ways," he answered, then shoved me into Bahamuts waiting paw.
I heard Ramuh shout behind me.
"And remember, if you summon me, your allies will be safe from all harm!" I had no time to argue or ask questions. Bahamut grabbed me, then took off into the skies at a tremendous speed. In a matter of seconds, He had put me on the other side of the divide, then vanished. I dusted myself off first, then looked around. No one was there.
"Marle? Marle! Where are you?" I shouted to no one in particular. No one responded. The dead quiet resounded again. Behind me, I heard a slight but distinctive sound. A muffled cry. A groan followed, and then the dead silence again. I looked behind me, but a wall was there. Thinking it might be like the first one, I cut open a part. Behind it was open air. I saw the rest of the destroyed dome. Frantically, I scoured the room, and found no trace of Marle or anyone else ever being there, save for the enormous crevice in the ground. I hopped over it and ran outside. The decay and the odor were still there, but I ignored them.
"Marle! Marle!" I shouted to no avail. I hunched my shoulders and hung my head. Marle meant everything in the world to me. Suddenly, a familiar voice from behind me brought the dead to life; it was the same voice that laughed as I fell. I whirled around, my sword at the ready. In front of me was a young man who looked just as old as I was. He had no aura of violence about him and I would have thought of him as a kind person if he werent holding his own sword, just as long as mine. He was taller than me, but thinner, making him less imposing, but only slightly. As he brought his sword to his starting position, I noticed that his muscles were large and moved very visibly under his skin. Various small scars, scars one gets from winning sword fights, decorated his face. I knew the type because I had a few myself. Under his eyes, I saw the marks of a man who slept whenever he could, and his face had the weatherworn features of a man who spent more time sleeping outdoors than anywhere else. Despite all I could learn from his face, his eyes still told me the most. A shocking color, orange, they darted around quickly, suspiciously, never resting, constantly analyzing the surroundings, and communicating a power of observation greater than mine and an intelligence that challenged that of Lucca. On his head, a clean yet unruly mop of hair sat passively, waiting for any determined breeze to push it around. He grinned, accenting the lines that only form when one laughs. Or cries.
"My my, youve come back. Youve got to teach me how to come back from underground like that someday. If I havent killed you that is," he said.
"What have you done with Marle?" I barked out at him.
"Dont worry about the girl; my friends took her somewhere safe. You should worry about yourself," he taunted.
"And why is that? You gonna hurt me with that stick in your hands?" I jeered.
He seemed strangely hurt at my insult.
"Look what you call a stick!" He paused for a second "Do you think that your sword is better than mine"
I nodded smugly.
"You are mistaken. Its not the sword. Its the swordsmanship!"
With that, he swung his weapon with both hands at my head. I brought my sword up, expecting it to shatter his, but our two blades just clanged together.
"What the ?" I exclaimed, surprised.
"But I thought my Prism Blade could break " he started.
"Anything? Strange. So did I ."
We glanced at each other quickly, then ignored fate and fought again.
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