Shadow Temple of Zeal Chapter 10

The Cause Revealed

By Demi-God

Magus flew silently over the pit that had stopped the two girls. "Finally, solitude." he thought as he reached the other side. It was still dark. He lit his fingers as Lucca had done, and looked around in the dim light. A wall stood a few meters ahead of him. He walked over and examined the text written on it. "This is... Zeal script. How is this in HERE? This hasn't been used in 14000 years." His eyes grew wide as he studied the text. "Temple of Shadow? One of the four elemental temples used to maintain Zeal's lofty location. Why does this place still exist? Zeal crashed to the ground millenia ago." The inscription read:

'Beware! None but Queen Zeal and her descendants may pass here. This is the Temple of Shadow. The elemental magic of shadow is contained whithin these walls. None but the royal family has the power to contain this power. No one may approach the ancient Seal. If this Seal is broken, the Great Shadow will be released. Beware!'

Magus realized now why the portcullises had been lowered. The temple had been sealed from use by Queen Zeal while Lavos had driven her mad. He remembered his only trip to the shadow temple as a child. This place was enormous. The explaination of the swamp that he could think of, was that the "Great Shadow" had escaped. He did not know it's nature, children were spared such grave knowledge. He knew that in order to destroy the swamp, they would have to defeat the Shadow.

Magus turned to go back to the girls. They had to know that it was hopeless. No one could defeat an element. It had taken half of Zeal's elite sorcerors to contain the shadow. The swamp could remain. There was no chance that he could defeat such a foe. He began to fly away from the text. Then he heard a voice. "Magus, don't leave..." He turned sharply. No one was there. "Magus... I need help..." Who was that? It wasn't Lucca or Marle; it was a different voice entirely. It was coming from another portcullis to the left of the text. He pressed his hands against it until is was phased enough for him to pass through, then he walked through, allowing it to re-form behind him.

"Magus... I've been here for so long, waiting for someone to come..." Magus spun around, looking for the source of the sound. The hall was empty. He continued walking. Suddenly a plate of stone moved slightly under his foot. The wall to his right moved toward him, then slid away, revealing a secret passage, lit by blue-fired torches. "This way, Magus... hurry" He hesitated, but then continued through the secret door. The wall closed behind him. He rushed back to stop it, But it slammed shut just beyond his reach. "Damn." He looked for a way out, but finding none, he had no choice but to continue.

He walked slowly down the silent corridor, in the bright light of the blue torches. "Magus, Thank you for staying... I do so need someone to speak to." "Who are you? How do you know my name?" No answer. He continued through the passage. An alcove appeared on his right. He went in and sat on a small bench inside. He admired te Zeal workmanship on the stone bench. He lay on his back on the bench, and closed his eyes.

"Ooph, Ungh" Janus crouched on the ground where the imps had knocked him. "Stop! Help! Someone Help m-" An imp had given him a swift kick to his stomach. Janus doubled up. Tears fell from his eyes "Help me... Schala... someone..." Suddenly his body was encased in a hard shell. He saw an imp kick the shell and cry out, grabbing his crushed toes. A blade flashed, and the imp's head landed next to it's feet. A blue-skinned man stood over Janus's crouched form. The imps nearby screamed. "No! It's Slash! Run for your lives!" They scattered. A large shadow hovered toward the cowering Janus. As it came into the light, Janus saw a large, green being appear. He heard a light step behind him and saw a woman looking at him. "Who is this? He almost looks human!" The green monster laughed. "Puny thing! Hey, kid, beat it." The fat green monster waved his hand, and the shield around Janus dissappeared.

Janus looked at the three being that had saved him, and blinked. "Who are you? Where's Schala? Are we in Zeal?" The blue-skinned one shook his head. "You are in Truce Canyon, kid. Who are you, first. We saved you thinking that you were someone important. You did just appear out of some kind of portal." Janus shivered. "I'm Janus of Zeal. Something just happened with the mammon machine, and Zeal started to fall, and then there was some blue swirling light and I came out here. I don't know what happened."

The woman smiled at him. "Slash, don't be so rude." Janus, My name is Flea. This is Slash, and the big green one is Ozzie. I don't know where or what a Zeal is, but you are in Truce Caynon. Are you a human? You look strange." Janus winced at the slang term for an Earthbound. "No! I'm not an Earthbound! See, look!" He closed his eyes and swung his arm toward the dead imp. The corpse burst into flame. Flea, Slash, and Ozzie stepped back. "Did you see that, Ozzie? This kid could be useful..."

Magus stretched and opened his eyes. He frowned. Ozzie, Flea, and Slash, his friends, were now quite dead, thanks to the heroic efforts of Crono, Frog, and Lucca. He sighed and stood up. "How long was I asleep? I should have been more careful." Magus tried to remember which way he was moving before help. "This way, Magus. I am waiting for you..." He scowled and followed the voice, determined to find out who it was that was calling him.


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