Of Magic and Mayhem Chapter 3

Welcome to Truce, Circa 1000 AD

By CuteLucca and Ghost

"I am interested in what happens to people when they must adapt to a new world."

            - Jean Renoir

Jacious snored softly as his head lay on the arm of Lucca's couch.  His right leg was hanging off the side.  Though he was in a rather strange position, he slept comfortably enough; the experience he’d gained in college of sleeping anywhere had stuck with him.  He had not slept uncovered either.  He had found a few sheets in the closet and used them to make himself comfortable on his makeshift bed.

Lucca, being the early bird she was, padded down the stairs barefoot.  She woke up around 6:30 AM as usual.  Seeing Jacious asleep on the couch, she remembered that she was rather pissed, and stomped down the last five steps.

Jacious shifted uncomfortably, moaning as he dreamt, “Damn rats...” he snored, “too loud....”  Woozily, he raised his right hand in her direction, mostly asleep, and fired a telekinetic blast at her.

“Augh!”  Sensing the attack coming, Lucca dove to the floor, just missing the blast, and watched as it tore apart one of her father's beer steins on the shelf across the room.  “Idiot!”  She crawled over to Jacious' side and hit him on the head, again, on the lump left over from the book the night before.

His eyes suddenly opened to see a smirking Lucca, and he sat up in bed, softly attending to his bruises.  “What do you want, Lucca?”  He shook his head tiredly, trying to force the rest of the sleep from his body, though the pain was doing a good job of that already.  “It's too early for you to be up.”

“Early?” Lucca replied with a smirk that was showing off self proclaimed superiority, “You kidding?  If the sun is up, so am I.  And, I'll have you know, you nearly took my head off a moment ago.”

Jacious blinked.  “What'd I do?”

Lucca pointed in the direction of the destroyed shelf.  “Shot an energy blast in your sleep, apparently.”  She frowned, “You can control it better than that, can't you?  Because if not, you're spending tomorrow night outside.”

Jacious stretched, the sheets coming off revealing a well toned muscular upper body.  His shirt was draped over the side of the couch.  “I'm working on it, okay?”  He finished stretching.  “I was just dreaming about rats.  So...” he looked around, “what's the plan for today?”

Lucca placed folded hands over her heart, a sarcastic tone in her voice, “Dreaming about your family?  Oh, how sweet.”  She offered a tender, but entirely fake, smile.  “My plan is to make breakfast, and then I'm going to go run some errands in town.  I have no idea what YOU intend to do.”  Still smiling sweetly, she added, “Do you like your eggs too runny or too hard?”

Jacious’ eyes bored into her with the mention of his parents and he got up, pulling his shirt on.  “If you don't mind, oh honored host, I'd prefer my eggs boiled.”  Smirking, he added, “I'm sure even you can't make boiling water explode.”

“You'd be surprised just how many things I can make explode.”  She cast him a meaningful look before heading off to the kitchen.  Noises that one really shouldn't hear when someone’s cooking followed shortly after she’d left; drills, hammers, buzzers, and the like.

Jacious looked around at the inventor’s paradise, coming to a conclusion, “Maybe coming here wasn't a bad idea...I'm starting to see McDonald's as a good thing.”  He grit his teeth. “Damn her mentioning my parents...she has no right...”  He clenched his right hand, “none at all.”

In about fifteen minutes, Lucca emerged from the kitchen with a dish of six boiled eggs and some only mildly blackened bacon.  It looked considerably more palatable than he would have thought it would.  With a clank, she dropped the dish on the table and looked to him with an indifferent look in her eyes, “Here.  Enjoy.”

She then retreated back to the kitchen and returned a moment later with her own breakfast.  Any person would not have a single guess what it was except for a thick lumpy mass of something brown with red and yellow streaks.  In short, it looked gross.

Jacious eyed his own plate closely and took some contents into his hand.  He carefully bit into an egg and bacon making pleased sounds.  He looked at Lucca’s plate, a feeling of nausea washing over him.  “Umm... Lucca? What the hell are you eating?”

Lucca gave a smile, explaining matter-of-factly, “My carb-enriched power breakfast.  Dad always made me eat it when I was little so I'd grow 'big and strong.'  It grew on me.”  She pointed out several heterogeneous substances in the mix, “It's got eggs, sausage gravy, ketchup, enriched kelp gelatin, and various herbs and spices.  It’s not bad, really.”

Jacious winced at the ingredients mentioned.  “Are you sure?”  He looked down at his plate, trying not to even look at her breakfast.  “You wouldn't want some eggs instead?  That doesn't look too pleasing.”

She gave a large grin, holding the plate up to her mouth.  “No way.  I live off this stuff.”  She made a slurping sound as she ate a large portion of the…goop.

He turned away, face slightly green.  “I think I'll save the rest of my breakfast as an early snack.”  He set his plate down, “I suddenly lost my appetite.”

She laughed for the first time since he had been with her.  It was a musical, but slightly low and rough, sound.  “I'll go eat this at the table and stop grossing you out.  Marle and Crono could never stand to watch me eat it either.  In fact...Ayla was the only person I ever got to try it.”  She tapped her chin, “And as I recall, she didn't feel well the rest of the day.”  She shrugged, and took another bite.

Jacious smirked. “Wow, Lucca, I can't imagine though how you got drunk on poi if you can handle that stuff.”  Shaking his head, he added, “That's an enigma in itself.”  He returned to eating his breakfast, not daring to look in her direction, fearing he might see her eating.

“My breakfast isn't alcoholic, dummy.  It has nothing to do with my alcohol tolerance.”  She finished the rest of her meal in silence, engrossed in some random book she found propping up the table's uneven legs.

Putting down his empty plate, he noticed her silence and turned. “Hey, whatcha’ got there?”  He stood and walked over behind her, reading behind her shoulder.

Jacious quickly noticed it was not in English.  In fact, it looked a bit like Latin.  “It’s a recording of the experiments performed by the mystics a few hundred years ago exploring the mechanics of non-magical flight.  I forgot we even had this-- I picked it up from a yard sale intending to upgrade the Epoch.”

Shrugging, he gave his own interpretation based on what he remembered from school and his own experience.  “So let me guess.  It's dealing with self propelled engines running off an oil based fuel using lift produced from low air pressure under wings to give it flight?”

She nodded, reading another paragraph, “Precisely.  I see you've read up on the subject.”

“I don't have to.  I've flown in one, and have had some experience in the pilot's seat.”  He tapped his chin, “Of course, I have studied the basic theory behind it.”

Lucca cocked an eyebrow. “Oh really?  Another one of the advances in your dimension?”  She muttered under her breath, “Well, maybe you'll be useful today after all.”

Jacious leaned against the corner table with a hand, “Let's just say we have the ability to travel in one of those things in the upper atmosphere of the planet going at speeds that could mach Epoch before it goes hyper.”

Lucca kept to her reading, not even giving Jacious the satisfaction of seeing her beautiful face. “And I'm supposed to be... impressed, is it?”

Jacious crossed his arms.  “I would hope that the great Lucca would be able to appreciate advances in a people who didn't have computers but for sixty years, if not less.”

Lucca placed the book down and raised her finger in a way that wasn’t so dissimilar than Jacious earlier.  “1999 AD was fully technological, before Lavos struck.  There were thousands of machines flying through the skies that, while lacking the time-travel capabilities of Epoch, could fly just as far and just as fast.  In 2300 AD, though ruined, I was fully able to study these machines.”  She pointed to her head, “I know what makes them tick, and though we don't have them here in 1003, we will within ten years if I have anything to say about it.”

He shakes his head, seeing a problem, “And what exactly do they run on?  What's their fuel?”

“Sunlight and daffodils.” she said before rolling her eyes, resisting the urge to hit him on the head again, “Whaddaya think they run on?  Fuel, of course, the same kind that powers Gato, Robo, and the Epoch.”  With a deep breath, she started spouting off a chemical analysis of the fuel.

Jacious held a hand in front of her to shut her up, “Plus there's the cost of the fuel and the effect the by products of the process to convert the fuel to energy will have on the planet in the form pollution.  That's the drawback we had, but since we had experience with that, we had ways of creating filters and reducing pollution through better fuel.”

With a furrowed brow, she pushed his hand aside and stood up.  “I'm not an economist or an ecologist.  And though you may think it's callous of me, I'll leave those concerns to the people who are trained for them.”  She took the dishes to the kitchen and returned a moment later.  “I just make things.”

He shook his head, “You make things without thinking of consequences...”  His eyes wandered down.  “Well at least you haven't made anything that uses atomic fission for energy....scientists did that and ended up making a bomb that killed a lot of people.”

Lucca had a reply ready; enough people had commented about her inventions blowing up  for her to have a stock answer.  “I'm not out to kill people.  I'm just trying to make life more simple.”

Jacious nodded in agreement. “They were trying to win a war.  Oh well.  If I'm right, and your machine works, you would help create tons of jobs for the world.”

She threw some random packets and booklets into her shoulder bag, ignoring his last comment. “Anyway, I was going to go up town and see if they've got any new parts in at hardware supply.  I placed an order for some A and F13 style gaskets, for the upgrades to Epoch's exhaust system.”

“Hmm...” he shrugged, “mind if I come with you?  I just want to check out Guardia.”

Smiling sweetly, she said, “If you promise not to be a moron, you can come with me. 

Wouldn't want to leave you alone in the house anyway, you'd probably rob me blind.”

Jacious gave her a glare, “I'm no thief, Lucca Ashtear.”  His glare suddenly changed to a grin as the thought of a counter, “Besides, I wouldn't want to stumble across any pictures of Crono you might not want me to see...or any ‘special’ machines made for self pleasure.  I couldn't handle the shock.”

Lucca turned a violent shade of red, and her fingers started glowing, momentarily bursting into flame with a sputtering hiss, and she suddenly threw a rather large fireball at him.

Not wanting to see the house burned down and rather surprised she'd make such an attack in her home, he placed his arms in front of his face and called up a quick, but small barrier; however, before the fireball even reached him, it sputtered out.

Lucca shook her head, “I'm not going to burn my own house down because you're a tactless ogre.  I can extinguish fire as well as start it.”  She shook her finger almost playfully and gives him ‘a look’, “But of course, outside the house I have no such reservations.”

Jacious turned around, a challenging gleam in his eyes, “Fine then.  You can try to burn me to a crisp...but you'll find I'm not so lenient when I'm defending.  Oh yeah...” He grinned despite himself, “Thanks for telling me what a pervert you are.  I didn't expect it... but such a violent reply implies guilt.”

“GRRRRRARARARAAAAAH!” Lucca roared as she lunged at him and tackled him to the floor.  “I DO NOT, nor have I EVER, bought anything for...THAT!  I've got guys knocking down my DOOR to get with Supergenius Lucca!”  She was blushing so furiously the redness had traveled from her cheeks all the way beyond the neckline of her tight black shirt.

He hit the floor with an “Oomph” and looked up, realizing the position she was in.  “I can see why.”  He gave a cat-call type whistle, “And you got a cute thing going when you're red...and I think you might want to get off...er....not ‘get off’ but I mean...you're kinda on me at the moment...not that I'm complaining too much.”

She hesitated for just a moment before backhanding him hard and jumping off him.  “You ARE a pervert, you...you....” Running out of words, she screamed, “RAAGH!”   and turned on her heel storming out the front door.

Jacious rubbed his cheek.  “I don't think I deserved that...Well might as well join her before she burns something to the ground.”  He ran out the door, intending on following at a close, but safe distance.  “Wait up!”

She didn’t let him catch up to her, and did not even speak the whole walk.  By the time Jacious and Lucca reached Truce village, Lucca’s body language implied she had cooled down considerably.  She cast a glance at Jacious, though, and he could still see a spark in her eyes.

Looking around Truce, Jacious debated if he'd gone over the top...though she did deserve it.  Oh, she so deserved it.  But his thoughts were interrupted by his awe at the town before him.  It seemed peaceful and simple, something he had no experience with, having lived in a city all his life.

Lucca noticed his look, and she smirked at him.  “Not used to civilization, are you?”

Jacious shook his head, taking no offense to the question.  He was used to civilization, just not civilization as Lucca knew it.  “I am, but I’m not used to something so… bucolic...”  He glanced at a preteen girl with a cat in her arms.  She was smiling and flirting with a boy her age.  Muttering under his breath, he said “She's the one....I put money on it.”

Lucca followed his glance. “The one what?”

He motioned to the girl, “I swear she's the girl who lost her cat at the Millennium fair.”  He shrugged, “I could be wrong, but it's a feeling.”

She quickly identified the girl and assumed he was just being an idiot again. “The girl who did what?  It's just Anna.  She's had that damn cat for years.  Stupid thing leaves prints on the Epoch.”

He shrugged his shoulders. “My mistake.”  To be honest, he felt rather stupid.  “I'm going to have to get used to this I guess.  I'll have to sort fact from fiction as I go along...once I get a place.  I also need to acquire a residence and a job if I'm staying, as well as citizenship.”  Suddenly a thought popped through his head, “Of course...you never played the game.”  He started to walk over to the girl, “I'll be right back.”

Lucca tilted her head to the side, “What?”  Confused, she followed behind him.

“Excuse me,” he said when he approached the girl to get her attention.  She looked a bit confused, wondering why an adult would interrupt her conversation.

Anna, looking a bit disappointed now, decided not to be rude. “Yes, sir?”

Lucca muttered under her breath, “He's a psycho, I knew it.”

Jacious chuckled, “You don't have to call me sir.  I'm just new here, but I visited the Millennium Fair those years ago.  I was wondering...did you lose your cat then?”  He pointed to the orange cat who gave a “mew.”

Anna looked rather confused, “Yes...I did....how did you know?”

He nodded slowly as if remembering something else, “Well I think I heard about a trial and you were a character witness for the boy who got arrested sometime after he helped you find him....I just wanted to thank you for doing that.  I know it must have been tough to be in front of so many people for a little girl.”

Lucca blinked with realization and yanked him aside.

Anna placed her hands on her hips.  “Yes, I told everyone about that nice guy…” she stared with confusion as Lucca dragged Jacious to the side.  “Hmm...guess your girlfriend wants a chat with you.”

Lucca hissed with anger, “You can't go and keep telling people you know all this stuff!  They'll start thinking you're a god or a monster or something!”  She turned her head towards the girl and shouted, “HE'S NOT MY BOYFRIEND!”

The girl giggled and continued talking with her friend while Jacious shrugged.  “Hello?  I told them I heard it through the trial?  I know better than to tell people about what I know, Lucca.  Besides, I had to know...I couldn't just not ask.”

Lucca thought back and found herself mistaken.  Though she didn’t want to admit it, she had to.  “You're right.  You didn't say anything about the 'game.'”  She made a sour face, “I guess I have to... apologize.”  It sounded like she was choking over the word.

Jacious patted her on the back as he continued to walk in the direction they headed earlier, “No you were just worried about what effect my presence would have on others.  I understand.  I'm glad you're watching out for them like that.”

Lucca found the words coming to her before she needed to spend time thinking what to say, “Afraid they'd pass out from sheer terror of your pasty face and scrawny arms, you mean?”

He continued to walk, “No more than they are that the fire demon will burn their city or blow it up in the process of aiding humanity.”

“I'm assuming you're referring to me, there,” she asked dryly and added, “Ya prettyboy wannabe.”

“Without missing a beat, he replied, “Well I guess it IS an advantage to see the far side of the moon with your glasses at least.”

She rolled her eyes, “Oh gee, that's original, pick on the smart girl's glasses.  Who writes your material, Miss Jensen's third grade class?”

“Whoever wrote the script for Chrono Trigger I guess,” was his quick reply, “but you already knew that.”

Lucca let out a “Hmph” in response as they approached the hardware store.

“Hmm....”  Jacious looked around, “man there are some cute girls here.  I wonder if I could hook up with one.”  He kept a few paces behind Lucca.

“Either wait here or come in.  Don't wander off, though, I don't want you out without supervision.”

Jacious’ lips were a slight smirk, “Alright...I think I'll flirt a bit.  I'll be sure to stay in sight.  Wouldn't want you worrying about me or anything.”

Lucca’s shoulders bunched as she considered his 'cute girls' comment.  She muttered under her breath, “Other cute girls, yeah, sure, heard that every day of my damn life.”  Fuming, she headed immediately to the shopkeeper's desk.

Jacious watched as she entered the store, fully hearing her comment.  “What's her problem....?”  He looked around the village, his mind not on the other girls at the moment.  “I guess people were right...Lucca hasn’t had many dates in her life...I better be more careful about those kind of comments.  He leaned against the wall of the store, opting to wait for her.

After fifteen minutes, she emerged from the store with a bag full of clanking metal objects.  Jacious had his arms crossed in front, as he leaned against the wall.  
”Get everything you need, Lucca?”

She turned around, careful not to lose her balance, “Yes.  I thought you were going to go talk to the Glee club over there?”  She gestured towards the six or seven cute girls around the town fountain.

Jacious showed no interest in them at all, “I didn't think I should start interacting.  No one's ever seen me here before, and you gotta admit,” he gestured to his T-shirt and jeans, “this sort of thing isn't standard around here.”

Despite his words, he corrected himself.  “Of course a humanoid robot...cave girl...and dark lord didn't draw too much attention it seems...well not too much.”  He smiled, “So I'm actually a regular in that case.”

Lucca could not help but laugh.  “Actually, the only one who seemed to notice was Crono's mom.  Most people just assume the weirdoes were traveling with me.  I keep to odd circles, I guess.”

“Well I'll have to introduce myself to her and Crono then shouldn't I?  Of course, you'd be surprised who I hung out with in college...a military madman...a guy who looked like his religion's savior...trust me...I've been there.”

“And did they all dress as weird as you?” Lucca grinned.

Jacious had no trouble replying, seeing no spite in her words, “There are many types of clothing where I come from.  Many textures, colors, styles.  People all had their own which defined who they were.  The same goes for me.”

“Really, color is all that changes here.” Lucca said looking to her own clothes.  “Though of course different times dressed differently.”  Smiling, she added, “And here I am dressed like a boy.”

Jacious made an act of examining her clothes. “You are?”  He wanted to help raise her spirits with a fact from his homeworld, “Actually you had a pretty large fanbase.  No one saw you like a boy.  A tomboy, maybe, but that wasn't a bad thing considering all the cool stuff you could do.”  He decided to add, “Especially a large male fanbase.”

“If you say so,” Lucca said off handedly.  “My male fanbase here consists of my dad, Crono, before Marle came along, and the neighborhood dogs…” She stuck her nose up in the air and put on a smile, “And the hundreds of prospective screaming suitors, of course.”

“You're forgetting one,” Jacious muttered under his breath before saying aloud so she could hear, “Of course!  So need me to carry those for ya?” he asked, pointing to the bag full of supplies.

Lucca glanced down at the bag.  It was pretty tiny, and a six-year old could handle it with no issues.  “Yeah, sure,” she said, handing it to him.  “So, uh, I've got what I came for.  Did you want to do anything here?  Any places from within your game that you want to visit?”

Jacious took the bag in one hand, “If you didn't mind...I wouldn't mind visiting the back of Leene's square and stop by Cronos' on the way home…I mean on the way to your place.”

Lucca rubbed her chin, “Where the Telepods were, you mean?”  Jacious nodded an affirmative.  “And Crono doesn't live in that house anymore...  he's up with Marle at the castle.”

“Hmm....” Jacious moved to a thinking pose.  “Well I’d like to meet Crono, though  I don't want to bring Lucca the Great out of her way when she has a project.”  Surprisingly enough to Lucca, there was no sarcasm in his voice.  He honestly sounded like he didn't want to put her out of her way.

Slowly, still confused by his concern, “Well, it's a project I've been working on off and on for way too long-- a stop by Crono's would be nice anyway.  I haven't seen them in a while.”

His face brightened up at the prospect, “Great!  Lead the way, I don't want to get lost.”  Grinning, he added, “I have a feeling this will be great.”

“Yeah.  Just great,” she said, smiling wistfully.

There was a moment of silence.  “Well are we going to stand here all day?  I promise I won't look at your butt, okay, if that's what you’re worried about.”

Turning, Lucca looked at Jacious, pointing to the castle in the distance, “I'd be impressed if you managed to lose yourself on the way to the castle.”  The castle was huge and beautiful, perched on a small cliff a few miles away.  “Wait...You've been looking at my butt?”

Jacious laughed nervously, looking around, “Look at the time, maybe I can find my way to the castle after all!”  He started to scoot away.

Strangely, Lucca didn’t react violently.  Perhaps she had forgotten to.  Instead, she almost seemed flattered.  “Well, come on.  Let's get to the castle before they close the gates.”

Jacious blinked, rather caught off guard by her lack of violence. “Yeah...um..... right beside you,” he said, as he walked beside her.  He had expected a fireball or two for that one.  Did I see a small smile on her face...like she didn't mind what I gave away?  I...is this the same Lucca that walked into the store?

After a moment's silent walking, she said matter-of-factly, “...and if I ever catch you looking at my butt, you'll have no eyes left to look with.”

Almost yelping in surprise, he replied, “Yes ma'am,” and smartly added, “I'll try to look at the front instead the rear....I'm sure there's more there for me to study.”

She snorted with restrained laughter, “Riiiiight.”

After another period of silence, “So...what are they like?  Your parents, I mean.”

“They're away right now on a trip to Choras,” Lucca said with a beaming smile, “Dad's still inventing all sorts of useless, harmless stuff...  toys, and the like.  Mom's been good...  I miss her cooking when she's away, though.”  Deciding to take advantage of the question, she said, “And I've noticed you've managed to avoid or get angry at every reference to your parents.”

Jacious looked down, a faraway look in his eyes. “Something like that...you've been rather ruthless to them.”

Lucca grinned, “Nothing personal against them, of course, just against you.”  Her grin faded when she noticed he was lost in thought.  “Anything you, uh....  want to share?”

Jacious sighed, giving a slight shrug of his shoulders, “I might as well...you know how I told you I came from this world originally?  That left me an orphan in the world I came from.”

Lucca only nodded in response, letting him get whatever it was off his chest.

“I played the game a second time after I had those dreams about Zeal in detail and clarity.  If I came back to this world, I would have been an orphan anyway...they were in Zeal when Lavos hit it so that can mean only one thing...”  He clenched his right hand into a fist.  “I cried for a week back there.  People asked why, and I told them I found out my parents died and that's why I was there.  They took it for some stress I had and fortunately passed it off.”

Lucca could not believe what she heard.  Sure it was a game, but he didn’t know for sure.  Surely if Magus could search for Schala with such fervor, then why couldn’t he?  “So you don't know anything about them or their fate, you just assume they went down with Zeal?”

He nodded solemnly, “Yes...they are dead.”

She still could not believe it, “You're...sure?”

Jacious exploded, “I got lucky with that damn gate, alright!”  He punched a tree, stopping in his tracks.  In a quiet voice, he continued, “and they're dead... I have no reason to believe otherwise...Dad couldn't fly.”

Lucca stopped with him, looking at him a bit frightened.  “I...I'm sorry.  I don't really have anything to say but... I'm sorry.”  Her lack of experience with people showed and she realized it with no way to really console him.

He continued walking, looking a bit better after his outburst, “You have your parents, Lucca, and I know you love your mother more than anything in the world.  My parents…they've been dead a while, and I just have trouble when people insult them... but I forgive you for that.”

Lucca lowered her head, her hair concealing her face from the side.  “I'm sorry.  I didn't mean what I said about them, really.”

Doing some consoling of his own, Jacious said, softly, “I know you didn't .  I already said I forgive you.  I know you didn't think they were rats.  You were just being...yourself.” 

She didn’t know whether that really made her feel better, but it was the truth. “Yeah, hot-tempered, confrontational, insensitive and tactless Lucca, that's me.”  Lucca gave him a genuine smile, “I'm glad you forgive me.  A lot of people don't.”

Jacious shook his head, “The past is dead, Lucca.  The time machine…that just alters the present you're experiencing to make the future a different possibility.”

Lucca nodded, “That's one way to look at it.  It's really hard to not go back and fix mistakes I've made.  I have the ability to go anywhere in time.  But... if I go changing every little thing... what would happen with the time stream?  And what sort of life would I lead if I never, ever made a permanent mistake?”

Jacious nodded. “We need mistakes if we're to become better people. Heh.  We both know that personally.”  He turned around with a small smile.  “So shall we continue with a bit more speed?  If you keep lagging, I might be forced to stay here and stare at your breasts.”

Lucca blushed again, a small warning fireball forming in her hand.  “Better keep your eyes on the road unless you want to see Crono without a hair left on your head.”

He wagged his finger playfully, “I don't feel like comparing the size of my fireball to yours so...” he turned around, walking to the castle with a bit more haste, “I'll keep walking.”  He smirks with his back to her.  Well that'll keep things normal...at least I got that out.

Walking a few paces behind him, Lucca mused with mild amusement.  This act's starting to get real old.  Even Crono grew out of boob jokes by the time he was twenty.

After a short walk, they reached the castle.  Jacious made a bet with himself that the guards were stationed just inside the gate, if he knew his game.  “So shall we enter…” he looked up staring in awe, “this really HUGE castle?”

Lucca stepped ahead of him.  “I will enter this really huge castle.  You will follow.”  She nodded a friendly greeting to the outside gate guard, who waved in recognition and relayed a message to someone inside.  With a heavy creak, the right door swung open.

Jacious rolled his eyes at her commanding tone.  “Sir, yes, sir.  Will follow orders sir.”  He walked up so he was standing next to her, “You know they sure don’t look nervous.  I know I would be.”

The guard motioned Lucca through, and gave Jacious a cautious glance of unconcealed suspicion.

“We've been at our most peaceful and prosperous in years,” Lucca explained.  “With king Crono and Queen Marle in charge, no one dares to strike Guardia.”  She smiled, “Yeah I know, I know, famous last words, huh?”

Jacious winced, “You don't wanna know about the sequel to Chrono Trigger...”

Lucca rubbed her temples, feeling a bit of pressure, “Don't tell me.  I don't think my poor heart could take it.”

With that, they entered the castle, home of the royal family of Crono and Nadia Guardia, ruling in peace and prosperity.  It was a meeting that promised to be eventful, to say the least.

Chapter 4

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