I, Magus: Memoirs of a Prophet Chapter 3

Forgive Me...Forgive Me Not...

By Dawn Wilkins

…Forgive me...Forgive me not...Dare I claim that the whole of humanity, the populace ofZeal, my mother...even Schala...are becoming consumed in their passion, their lust, to fulfill their purposes and to the Void with the cost? I, myself, shall not be swayed! While others herald the wicked ambitions to their hearts I clearly see the truth. If the great angels of heaven should demand I divert my course I would not yield. So, forgive me or forgive me not, Schala, but I will not yield...


“Forgiveness...” Magus snorted acrimoniously. His billowing violet cloak, a magically enhanced artifact he uncovered in the Middle Ages, whispered as it dragged over the palace steps.He passed another jewel-bedecked chamber, eyes open, yet as shut to this existence as if he were blind. The dark blue-black tiles did not hold his attention. The stunning gold-plated banister did not sway it. Neither did the presence of Enhasa, normally a painful omnipresent reminder of his ugly past. No, today was a day of reflection...and soon come a day of reckoning.

Could he forgive? Should he forgive? Or was it his soul in need of repentance for his crimes against the world, humanity, and even himself?

NO!! he cried wordlessly. Perish the thought! He was in the right. If he let mere doubt stop him what greater calamity would result? Without the disguise and deception the shadow necromancer might decide to surrender to cowardice. And what worse things would they all suffer then?

His procession down the steps complete, the mystic sorcerer advanced toward Enhasa’s entrance. Duty called and so did the Queen. The Queen...his mother...and his nightmare. After shaking to clear his head, Magus stuffed his azure hair in its place. He couldn’t think of her. Admittance to how truly her cruelty scarred him would only serve to weaken the former prince’s resolve. His ‘haven’ came in quite handy for preventing that. He must only think of how to save this damned Kingdom of Zeal.

When he focused his piercing gaze at the door the dark wizard noticed three figures enter. A curse found his lips when the former prince identified them. Spinning on a heel, Magus darted back up the stairway and hid beneath the shadows, over the banister. This provided him with a vantage view that was both safe and empowering. The three did not detect his proximity to them.

A frog. A princess. A boy. The world’s ‘heroes’ or say they claimed. The first carried himself with an air of chivalry. His deep green cape extended far beyond his four-foot form. Sheathed to his side was a blade, the legendary Masemune. Magus flinched at the negative energy produced by the sword. The second smiled, a thing born of utter conviction, of impossible faith. A weapon, one ash bow, was strapped to her back and her bright white outfit would blind a person. The final ‘hero’ grinned adventurously, too eager. His tousled red hair flared in outlandish display as he clutched his own weapon, another sword.

Glen. Marle. Crono. Magus only sighed. More pebbles to the river of life, he noted. What could he do with them? Let’s just hope they’re here for a little fun and not to ruin my mission again. God, if they bother me just one more time they’ll know the wrath of Magus all too well. As it was, he was content to watch the motley trio explore, monitoring their progress from his viewpoint.

“Oh, Crono, this is beautiful!” squealed Marle. The princess bounced up a set of stairs–the kingdom was full of those–and her gaze absorbed everything. Crono muttered something about ‘girls are overly excitable’ but smiled nonetheless. He, too, started up, finally arriving at the landing. Lastly came Glen, his frog’s snout twitching as if he sensed something out of the norm. Shrugging, the amphibian followed his companions. None noticed Magus.

I ought to fly down from here and slit their throats, those pesky brats. SIGH!

All were silent, even the dark prince, when a blue-haired child approached the stairway that the three adventurers were about to ascend. At the lad’s side bounded a lavender feline,Alfador. It was he. It was Janus.

Crono was the first to speak. “Hey, you, kid! Where’s the Queen?” This prompted no response. All Magus’ younger self did was stare, like his eyes seethed acid, and run his hand over Alfador. Magus stiffened, earing that the blasted cat might reveal him again. But Alfador seemed occupied by his master’s patting.

Awkward silence ate their voices. And in that quiet, the shadow necromancer felt the Black Winds emerge, chill his soul, and ripple his attire. Janus, too, was affected. Recognize that, toad?! Glen’s eyebrows elevated in suspicion. He might have spoke but the prince cut him off. “The Black Winds howl...” he murmured, thoughtful. His face scrunched up. Then it relaxed. “One among you will perish...shortly...”

That said, he left. A prophecy!? Was I a prophet...No, can’t be...Magus dismissed with a flip of his hand. No, the child was not offering a divinity—just a childish attempt at what he can’t do. Still, Magus would have to observe Janus a little more now.

Now Glen’s eyebrows weren’t the only ones reaching dramatic proportions. “Weird...” muttered the red-haired boy. His finger was stuck in his head, scratching slowly. The voice of Marle’s trembled like a fluttering of paper, “He...he said...one of us will die!” Glen patted her shoulder encouragingly. Meanwhile, Crono squeezed the other. “Hey, Marle, we faced worse,right? We can do anything!”

Magus thought he would be violently ill.

“Aye, strange lad.” Glen agreed. “We shouldst seek out her majesty and doth proceed from there.” The others assented and readily returned to the stairs and soon were out the door.

Instantly, the sorcerer abandoned his shelter and swept down himself. His boots made sharp thuds on the marble flooring. Damnable ‘heroes’! So, they want to speak to my mother, hmm? We’ll see about that...

In this life Magus doubted he could develop a more ferocious and effective scowl. Three of the Enlightened Scholars–two colorfully dressed females and a white-maned male–took respective paces backwards, sideways, anywhere, merely to avoid his deadly stare. It was just as well; the self-proclaimed prophet had never been very social anyway.

Beautiful...Just beautiful! Even the fly-lover and his brats are out for a piece of Zeal. Everyone is! Is hope just a weak man’s fantasy? Magus’ marble face fractured. Struggling, his mind’s hole thankfully salvaged the majority of his expression. The cracks resealed. No good could come of allowing others to see his vulnerabilities. The only aura he displayed, other than his thinly veiled fury, was that he desired: coolness, arrogance, and superiority.

Side with crazy Jarl?

Kill my own mother?

Resort to plan one?

The options ran like a menu. Time was running out and he had to decide...and quick! With a gloved fist to his velvet collar, Magus strode out into the sunlight. Fingers of golden caressed him, habitually tender and soothing. Or it should have been. Today, the sun could shine on him and him alone and not warm the mystic’s tortured soul.

The unforgiven...the unforgivable...the unforgiver...

Walking along the gold-paved boulevard (what wasn’t golden?) and through overhanging leaves that brushed his cloak, the necromancer sighed and elected to visit the waterfall. Many a time when the prince was but a child he would attain comfort in solitude. Who needed friends? All one required was a furry companion, a breathtaking waterfall, and himself. Rapid was his step and before long the gorgeous curtain of liquid blossomed into view.

This time, however, he would find no comfort.

Orange-and-violet garments fluttering like a peacock, Dalton chatted with another even more lavishly garbed Enlightened. This irritated Magus to no end. Only when he spotted Schala stood some distance away, back arched in obvious pain, sapphire strands dancing, did he amend his initial statement. Again, the former prince longed to reach out and embrace her in a brotherly, healing hug. Again, his mind’s hole prevented him. Soft mist gushed over her frame and Magus swore he heard a sigh like a broken dove.

Apparently, the Zealian prince wasn’t the only one with touching Schala on the mind. Dalton, dismissing himself from the Enlightened, swallowed the distance between the two. With a hand, he slapped her behind. She jumped and shrieked un-Schala-like. Crimsoned, the princess glared at her aggressor.

Dalton’s smirk was maddening. “Come on, Schala, give a little, will ya?”

Eyes like ice, the dark wizard’s sister hissed, “You will address me as Princess. And, no, I will not give anything! Not to the likes of you!” The advisor to the Queen’s expression mirrored Magus’ own. Neither could believe the coolness in her words, one whose are ever warm. Not that the dark wizard didn’t enjoy seeing Dalton put in his place...

...Ah, and time to get even, Magus!

A mischievous smile and a sly thought took Magus. Uttering the arcane language softly, not to be heard, he released a fist of energy at his dear sister’s assailant. It collided with Dalton full in the chest and, with a grunt of surprise, flung him straight into the stirring waters. Water sailed over the edge but Schala dodged it expertly.

“That damned jackass! Why I ought to–ugh! Wah! I’m wet!” All of this came from a drenched Queen’s Advisor. He was a terrifically comical sight, water streaking his rainbow form, more liquid running in strings and globes down his sides and front. His hands curled in implied strangulation and his features twisted in hate. “THAT GOD DAMN PROPHET!!!!”

Meanwhile, his sister twirled around, vibrant strands spanning and gave him that ‘stare’. For years, Janus had known that when his older sibling was truly displeased she would not shout, throw things, or even complain. No, just one look at that expression could send him back in his bed–pronto.

“I don’t need anyone fighting my fights, prophet,” Schala announced. The inflection on his title was easily missed unless one looked for it. He did. She continued, “But I guess you meant no harm...would you walk with me?”

You could have slapped the dark wizard on the face and not drawn more amazement. As ever, his secret seclusion spared him visible emotion. She actually wishes to speak to me? Even though I hesitate in the assassination she demands? A moment more of reflection and he added, perhaps that is what she wants to talk about...more murdering...God, what is this world coming to...

Bowing, he answered, “But of course, your highness.”


If Magus had expected another gruesome, disillusioning task he was happily mistaken.They discussed the proficiency of magic. They agreed on the significance of prophecy. They disputed the treatment of the Earthbound ones. But they did not once address the assassination that she requested of him.

It was a welcomed change of topic. He, who was the child of blood, war, and death, tired of such macabre issues. Near Schala, Magus could almost forget, if but for a moment, that soon would appear Lavos in his most brutal form and that his whole world would be torn asunder. For a moment he was free...

Then reality crashed back down.

After brother and sister divided to their duties before the audience with the Queen, the dark wizard opted to return to the Valor Library. The prophecies in Zephyrain’s tomes were enough to discourage anyone from altering history but Magus had always been at odds with fate and still came out alive (if not unscathed) and was determined to do so again. Though accustomed to the games of cruel destiny he liked them no more. Here, individuals counted each victory even if it was as minor as a believed lie. In the Middle Ages, wordplay and mind games almost didn’t exist. It was either kill or be killed. On the battlefield, the heat of your rage and the sureness of your hand decided triumph or defeat instead of the smoothness of your tongue.

“Now, I must read volumes eight through ten for tonight....and, hmm, eleven to thirteen tomorrow.......um ......and–Damn!” The long string of tasks were cut short as the dark prince remembered that he’d left the medallion on his shelf. In his temporary quarters he’d redressed speedily so that none would unearth his identity. “Must have forgotten to put it back on....ah, well, I must fetch it...” And so saying, Magus made use of an authorized personnel transportation pad to warp back to the Palace of Zeal. His dark thoughts resumed.

However, since arriving in Zeal, Magus realized how significant his sharp mind could be. Being an ‘oracle’ had its advantages, but the constant deception was unimaginably draining. Reading up on the prophecies belonging to Zephyrain undoubtedly added to his own knowledge to keep up this charade. Meanwhile, Jarl and Alura persisted with their offer, Queen Zeal prepared the Mammon Machine, and his own sister wanted murder! In battle all you had to do was cut off a person’s head and that would be the end of it. And even if you were the one getting decapitated, well, then you wouldn’t have time to worry about it anyway...

Now if only life were as easy...

Adjusting his hood, it wasn’t the perfect fit and he was ever wary of being exposed, the shadow mage stepped off the gleaming circle. His journey through the halls of Zeal only furthered his opinion of his people. Paintings, statues, artifacts, and whatnot were in his midst. All horrifically lavish. Not that Magus cared a cracked iron piece of the welfare of those who suffered–why should an eminent prince worry about the Earthbound ones?–but such resources could go to better use. Lustful, all of them. Not necessarily in the sexual manner (though Dalton was a prime example of that!) but concerning their excessive desire for immortality. This judgment was reinforced with various paintings of a new Zeal, that of an utopian society of eternal life and happiness. He knew better; happiness didn’t exist.

He walked down the walkway, down golden steps, up golden steps, past two bookcases and finally in through an antechamber. It was then that he halted. His fire-and-lilac pupils rested on twin portraits of Zephyrain. The first was the prophet at the Queen’s side and the second exhibited his magical prowess. What was it like to be so immaculate, to command that amount of power and unburdened by bothersome emotions? At that Magus shuddered. I must not let power seduce me. He lifted a hand to lay five digits on the azure-and-amber frame.

“Who’s he?”

Magus started at hearing such a familiar voice. Familiar? It was as familiar as his own. It was his own!


A sly grin oozed into the dark wizard’s lips as he observed himself. He dismissed it instantly, however, replaced at once with concealed bitterness. “Your highness, this was the great oracle, Zephyrain.” He paused, waiting for an indication to continue. At Janus’ nod, his voice trailed on, “In the age of dreams, oracles were in abundance as the drops of rain in a pond. But some unforeseen, unknown event removed them from this earth, that is, until Zephyrain was born. With his birth, life was breathed into soothsaying. You know all the prophecies and timelines and magic spectrums you so hate to study? If it wasn’t for him that knowledge wouldn’t exist.”

Grunting in disfavor, Janus muttered, “Shoulda kept his thoughts to himself!” Magus restrained a chuckle. You hate prophecies and yet you just ‘gave’ one. Interesting...The younger prince added, “What happened to him?” The ill-proportioned eyes widened, offering the eight-year-old a rare innocent look.

“He disappeared mysteriously one day. Some say he was an angel from heaven and returned home. Others swear the oracle sought after an evil wizard and left to protect Zeal...Most, however, claim that he left for a better life, that of immortality...” The necromancer frowned at that. “Suffice to say, he is no more than legend himself now.”

Two tiny lips parted, as Janus contemplated his older version’s tale. He seemed to approve (not that that was hard to determine!) and then he bounded down the hall minus another word. Magus snorted with annoyance. Impolite brat...oh, blessed reaper, I’m insulting myself!

Without quite knowing why, the dark wizard followed his younger self. Whether Janus noticed this pursuit, he in no way indicated it. When the boy vanished pass a bend, Magus examined the various corridors, snatched an image of its schematics from retrospection, and proceeded. He found his memory was still impeccable. By the time he’d done that, however, Janus was already engaged in a conversation. So, the necromancer halted to listen.


“Come in, bro. I’ve been waiting.”

“I’ve missed you...”


“Is something wrong?” It was at this that Magus opted for a better view. He was becoming quite the spy as of recent. Slipping quietly into the adjacent chamber, the dark wizard peered through a crevice in the wall. Magus had created that very fissure himself one day, overly curious about a discussion his sister was having with Dalton. Since then, using the hole had become normality.

The panorama was poor but Magus made out the image of Janus and Schala in the latter's room. Books were strewn over the oak table. More books lay on the austere purple carpet. The brother stood, arms crossed and back to his sister. A breeze wafted through both of the siblings' hair and garments. “The...Black winds...” finally answered the child. Alfador lay on the bed, yawning in a way only cats can. Magus remained silent.

Schala gingerly stepped forward. “You feel it, too? Don’t worry, it’ll be all right.” Fishing in her robe, she produced a small pendant, with an engraved dragon, and presented it to the prince. “Remember that gift I promised?...Come, hold onto this...” Janus’ lips moved but made no sound. “What’s this?” he asked while fingering the relic like he’d had no others and his child’s mind could not perceive such power and beauty.

Dipping her head and biting the inside of her cheek, it took a considerable length of time for the princess to respond. When she did it was soft as a wind’s whisper, “Just something to protect you...I wish I could be with you always but mother has other plans.”

“She’s no longer our mother! She looks like our mother but inside she has changed!”

Smart even then, was I?

“Janus, she’s our mother!”

In disgust, Janus turned away. The child didn’t see the hurt he caused Schala. But Magus did and winced.

“I want to be with you...still, I can’t...”

In the silence, expectant silence, the prince declined to dignify her with a response. Again, she was badly wounded by the unsympathetic quiet. The dark prince winced a second time. His prayer for a kiss-and-make-up between his younger self and older sister passed unrewarded. How much of the timelines did he want to change anyway?

“Janus, I’m sorry...” No response. Her attempt at a hug proved as fruitless. Even Alfador seemed uneasy as he sensed the tension with his feline perception. After he meowed, the boy obediently obliged with a pat. But he studiously ignored Schala. Her eyes glistened with unshed tears which made the self-proclaimed prophet want to kick his younger version for acting as stupid as he was. We ignore something when it’s near but cry for it when it's gone...Why do we take for granted what is near and dear to our heart?

Just another regret he’d have to learn to live with...

Noise reached the mystic's keen ears and one eye trailed to the three that so unmannerly entered...And who else would they be but the three wanderers, Glen, Marle, and Crono? Interfering in his affairs had become a pastime of theirs, Magus guessed with a sneer. How dare they? Would they ever get enough? The dark wizard had the temptation to slap his own face in offense, like he used to as a child, and then slay them all.

Better judgement prevailed. First, it was three against one again, and he knew (even if he'd admit it to no one) that they could easily best him. They had before and might again. Second, since the prince was uninformed about their plans he would be better served by listening than slaying. But third, and mostly, he decided inaction because the sight of Schala's horror as he murdered the trio was enough to repulse him. He’d rather suffer in silence then hurt that which he held most dear.

So, his anger went unexpressed.

He was not the only one to notice the wanderers. A gasp informed Magus that Schala detected their presence. The princess of Zeal smiled warmly, despite her pain, and her eyes immediately relighted. "Oh, my... hello...who are you?" Meanwhile, the other sibling remained unapproachable because he believed that this 'greeting of strangers' was just another ruse to snare his attention.

Three sets of green eyes locked on each other. Wordless words passed the three’s expressions as they contemplated their actions. At an unspoken signal the boy, presumably the leader, opened his mouth to reply. Before the words rose to lips, however, an Enlightened entered. Her aquamarine dress shimmered with various decorative jewels. She lifted a cerulean- gloved hand, beckoning.

"Your highness, the Queen demands your presence."

"A moment." After the scholar consented, unhappily, Schala returned her focus to the annoying adventurers. "I say again, who are you?" And again, poor Crono hardly got a word out before the bejeweled woman persisted, "Please hurry, princess. If you do not come the Queen will be very angry."

Trying to carry on three conversations at once must have been difficult but Schala took it like she did everything else–in stride and with grace. Another failed attempt at an embrace with her brother and the Zealian beauty murmured, "I'll be back, Janus. I promise." The child offered no answer. To Crono and the others, she apologized, "I'm sorry! We'll speak later." And finally, she acknowledged the woman with a gesture to lead.

All in three of Magus' heartbeats.

Once the blue-haired beauty had departed, the frog, princess, and boy muttered among themselves. What was said was unclear but not that Magus cared anyway. More significant to him was witnessing the expression on his alter ego's face.

Janus stroked his cat in forced strides of stress. His round cheeks contorted. His little lips pursued. His eyes watered. All a sign that the prince was not handling the argument with his sister well. But the child contained his composure when the companions commenced their inquiry.

"Even weirder..." breathed Crono.

Glen prompted, "Young lad, where arth thy Queen?" His tone was conversational but Magus did not miss the hint of suspicion. The dark wizard clasped a hand over his mouth to keep his amusement silent; he was not prone to laughter but this was just too rich...If only the idiot knew...I'd sell my soul to see his face!

"Go away!" Janus snapped.

"Gee, R-U-D-E." The last was Crono's comment which resulted in a scowl from the child. At that same moment Marle diligently examined the room as if she were as poor as pennies. The entire time she'd run her eyes over the place, a rebel princess loving ever minute of adventure. Nevertheless, her more 'cutesy' side diverted her attention when she noticed Alfador. "Ah, what a pretty cat!" she squealed, leaning forward to pet the feline.

Indignant, the prince of Zeal scooped up his only friend in his arms while aiming a blazing glare. "Stay away! Alfador only likes me." At this the cat meowed; whether to indicate yes or no could not be told.

Appropriately admonished, Marle darted back, flushed. Glen raised his eyebrows while Crono called them all close. Keen as his ears were, Magus had to strain to hear the conversation. "There's something freaky going on here. I bet Lavos has something to do with it!" the boy declared confidently. Brilliant Crono. Ha! Blessed reaper, but when it comes to intelligence, you do your fellow man justice! "Aye," agreed Glen. "Thine lad doth seem familiar..." Oh, irony, my dear frog. Gotta love it. "Let's head to the throne room," was the princess' suggestion.

Magus was no longer laughing. Go to the throne room? Were they crazy? But that's what the trio elected in the end. They filed out of the opulent chamber, each casting a glance at the prince. Janus pretended to ignore them even though his azure eyes peeked every now and then. Since when did he lose that color of his eyes? He found he could not recall...

Everything he'd done in his past life, after Zeal, the former prince realized, were but hazy streams. They were like the kind of dream you have that is vivid while sleeping and yet blurry in the waking world. All the emotions and images, the torment and sorrow, poured in him as easily as wine in a glass. Am I losing my touch on reality? A shudder skittered though his body. It wasn't a topic he liked to dwell on.

Decisive, the dark wizard abandoned his spy hole and marched to his own living residence. It was off to the far left, beyond the main entrance and duo bronze gargoyle statues. It was a false wall, movable only by magical means, given him by the Queen to encourage his prophetic studies. She'd been pleased and when his mother was pleased the elder Zeal offered a smile. Others thought it benevolent; again, he knew better. It was the smile of the devil...

As if I'm any better!

His own room was much like the others. Three bookshelves spanned the opposing wall, brimming with various books. His bed itself, extravagant to say the least, overflowed with tomes of all sorts. The candelabra on his writing desk needed to be replaced as the wax, so frequently used, stuck to the sides.

Dismissing this, Magus snatched the pendant in a fist and refitted his hood with another. The quarters were a mess but he denied any maid access for fear she'd uncover his identity. Everything rode on his being undiscovered.

Yes, doesn't it, prince of Zeal? Janus. You whose name is the testament of your soul...portal-dweller...two-faced...deceptive...


It took everything and a plus not to burst out in guffaws when Magus passed through the threshold of the throne room. The sight that greeted his eyes wasn't necessarily humorous–his mother's malevolent grin, Schala's glistening eyes, just the whole evil atmosphere–but Dalton's expression had chuckles spilling from the dark wizard's lips. Dalton, Queen's advisor and self-proclaimed perfectionist, was soaking wet.

Oh, if looks could kill, Magus would be pushing up daisies.

Six golden pillars supported a ceiling of artistry and formed a semi-circle around her majesty's massive throne. Blood-red carpet, interwoven with violet, extended the length of the chamber. All seemed to be as it should but Queen Zeal's smirk told him a different story. Dalton was at her left (Magus' right), glaring daggers. Schala stood, anxious, to her right.

This time the necromancer remembered to bow, a low dip of the knee, and greeted his mother with a smile that did not reach his eyes. It was hard to smile when all you wanted to do was rip that smirk off your own mother’s face. But smile he did. What choice did he have?

What choice but darkness and deception do I ever have?

“Rise, Prophet. Let this meeting start.” Magus immediately strode to a position right of Schala, near enough so as to feel close, yet at some distance to avoid paranoia. Clandestinely, the dark wizard glanced at her. Her cheeks were pale so much she might as well have been a marble statue. Her eyes had dark circles, indicators of long nights spent awake, and shone dully. Anyone would be seriously mistaken to claim she had no stamina—she’d proven that inaccurate time and time again—but he could infer that the whole ordeal was taking its toll.

Oh, how he hated seeing her like that!

“Now for the meeting. Jarl is preoccupied working on the Mammon Machine while his assistant is recruiting more Earthbound Ones for the Ocean Palace’s finishing all the last minute touches...Troublesome, aren’t those Earthbound?” the Queen announced. None questioned this judgement. Indeed, only Schala disputed and she had long ago quit trying to change their mother’s mind.

Her majesty bent forward, as she always did to emphasis a point, gown rustling. “Thus, neither will be here for this meeting. Instead, my prophet and advisor shall give their opinions and my daughter here will detail the magic required to activate the machine. Also...” As she droned on, Magus thought of how grateful he was to be aware of Jarl’s latest movement. Ever since the meeting and offer he kept ‘an eye’ as they say on the black-haired wizard. Jarl had not only the ability to pierce someone’s soul but design webs of deception that Magus was determined not to become trapped in. It was better to be safe than sorry.

His mother’s overbearing voice ran through his head like a severe migraine. “...I have to notify the assembly of the announcement.” Two sapphire pupils gleamed in malicious appreciation at him. The room stifled. “My thanks to you, Prophet. Now the great Ocean Palace shall rise from imagination to realization. I dedicate the opening of the palace to you, my prophet.”

What a great dedication...Oh, life can be so ironic…

A gasp expelled by Schala’s lips informed the self-professed prophet of how horrified she was. Dalton was grinning like his face was perpetually that stupid. Queen Zeal’s smile was even more unendurable. But the color drained from his cheeks, all too aware of how much closer he was to the arrival of Lavos...

Blessed reaper, soon, soon will come my confrontation. My time to fry...

And it was going to be hot indeed.

Still the woman on the throne elaborated on the glory of New Zeal. “Yes, we all shall become immortals as we deserve...” Her face lit with savage joy, delightful insanity. She returned somber, “Well…now, where were we? Ah, yes, the first order of business is to discuss the preparation for the Ocean Palace—is there something you have to say, Prophet?”

Freezing as if he’d used an ice spell on himself, Magus hadn’t realized his demeanor had revealed his inner thoughts. Dark thoughts, of how to rid Zeal of those pesky wanderers. If they persisted his mission was compromised. Their lust...Swallowing, snug in his illusory safeguard, he declared, “Your most esteemed majesty, I have divine knowledge of usurpers against your throne.”

“Usurpers!?!” she cried, her various gems gleaming in blazing eyes.

“Yes, my Queen. Three travelers. One is a cursed man-frog going by the name of Glen. Another is a boy called Crono and the third is a girl named Marle. They know of your illustrious plans and wickedly intend to destroy them.” Throughout the proclamation, his voice intensified with confidence. This part of prophecy he could command. But one glance at Schala and the dark wizard dearly willed God to strike him down dead. She was absolutely livid.

There goes our friendship...Damn, you idiotic bastard…have far does this have to go?

So forgive me or forgive me not, Schala, but I will not yield.

As long as it had to, apparently.

“I’ll keep that in mind. Again, the crown is in your debt.” He acknowledged the praise with a nod. He’d get no better. Her voice descended to a deadly whisper, “They show up and we’ll make them regret ever hearing of Zeal...” None responded. As if she’d hadn’t said that, the Queen added, mocks of a smile abundant, “Now, I simply must have your opinion on what to do with the Earthbound...Who are you?!”

Like a bolt of lightning, Magus spun around. A red haze descended over his fire-and-lilac eyes. His insides warped like a dishrag. The sight before him made the dark wizard want to scream.

The wanderers.


How the trio managed to pass the chamber’s shielded door was beyond the necromancer. He, himself, had admittance only because he was ‘the Queen’s oracle’ and she opened it from the inside. None among them said anything immediately, though he could see their faces straining in thought.

No, you’ll not ruin my chances again, you pesky fools.

Stepping forward, mindful of his sister’s anger, Magus announced, “Your majesty, it’s them! The evildoers I warned you of!”

Girl, boy, and frog exchanged uneasy glances. Again, the self-professed prophet noted the latter’s curious look, the whispered, ‘can’t be’, and the damnable feel of the Masemune but he remained indifferent. With a disdainful smirk, he left the three to their doom. Crono immediately tried negotiations but didn’t get very far before his mother spoke again. “You idiots! How dare you!” Her glare could have cut stone. Schala moved in their direction as if to object but the Queen ignored her daughter’s distress.

“Your majesty, let ME deal with them!” cried Dalton. He evidently feared that Magus would win more points with the Queen and decided to attain some of his own. “Golem!” A rip sounded throughout the vast corners in the throne room. The fabric of reality appeared to be shredded as a gigantic rift appeared. Marle gasped, Crono whistled, while Glen’s eyebrows lifted in shock. From the hole a creature emerged.

That creature stood several feet tall, layered all over in sharp spikes. Gold skin, as tough as a wall, composed his form and twin horns were situated on his head. Two fangs protruded from his lips (could they be considered lips?) and his tail swished from side to side as he growled with black eyes.

Magus crossed his arms. He’d like to see them best THAT.

And they did.

The battle started with Crono foolishly flinging himself on the beast’s back. After landing, squealing from the spikes, he proceeded to bang his blade on the durable skin. He rode like it like a horse and yelled all manner of nonsense. Glen, too, struck with steel. Leaping up, he brought the blade against the hide in a downward cut. Unfortunately, that inflicted little in the way of damage. He stumbled to the carpet, his sword out of reach.

Upon Dalton’s direction—insane, screaming commands—the monster attacked. Crono didn’t remain mounted for long. Instead, he sailed to the ground, plus a heavy-duty groan. Rid of the menace, fueled by cries and battlelust, the golem approached Glen. The amphibian scrambled backwards, weaponless. Meanwhile, Marle, seeing the frog’s plight, evoked arcane power and sent several globes of ice at their opponent.

One minute she was up; the next the princess was down, writhing in agony. Golems were beasts that learned the skills of others at an impossibly swift rate—immediately. Icy orbs countered Marle’s own assault but it did give the fly-lover a chance for retaliation.

Swinging the blade in a shining arc, Glen summoned Crono to his feet. The former shouted, ‘X-strike’ and the kid nodded. Both assembled themselves parallel to the other and braced. Simultaneously they launched upwards at the Golem. Their blades dug deep in their quarry and the beast screeched even after the two had returned to earth. Breaths later Marle healed herself and stood, the three ready for more.

Well, well, well...looks like three aren’t so bad after all...Not good.

As the golem rammed a golden ball at the three, they fell down hard. Both Glen and Marle lay still, yet alive but perhaps unconscious. Their leader, the red-haired, climbed to a stand and tossed out his arms. Light seemed to suck itself from the room when it engulfed his form. Green and amber flared up in awesome display. ‘Luminaire’ Magus noted, uncommonly impressed. It domed the chamber then blasted the golem into oblivion.

Ignoring its masters screamed demands, the beast fled.

They bested it. Not good.

The three rejoiced but their victory was short-lived. Dalton, furious at his defeat, took that moment of distraction and chanted a spell. A triangle, made from pure energy, encased the band, knocking them senseless. Well, so much for celebration, the dark wizard added, sardonic. Schala immediately turned to their mother and pleaded mercy.

“Ha! Idiots!” Magus wished she would stop using that expression; it reminded him of how similar they were. Finally, the rainbow-hued woman heeded her daughter. “Very well...I won’t kill them…”

But her eyes, now on the unfortunate trio, told a different story.

“You won’t die...immediately, that is! Dalton! Take them away!”

His sister’s protests were drowned out in the advisor’s delighted reply. He concocted a spell that delivered the three to the plasma prisons. It was a more than unpleasant prison, Magus knew. He’d gotten trapped in one as a child because of some jealous Earthbound. But they lived and while the companions lived they were a threat...he’d have to do something about that, later.

Schala’s icy glare made the dark wizard not much like himself. Only his ‘haven’ prevented the tears from surfacing. But what choice did he have? Let some fools disrupt his plans for the sake of their convenience? Allow the whole of Zeal suffer because he failed to made the hard decisions?

He did not need to ask for forgiveness, not when he was in the right.

So forgive me or forgive me not, Schala, but I will not yield.


Chapter 4

Chrono Trigger Fanfic