Shadow Temple of Zeal Chapter 4

Marle's Mistake and Magus' Joke

By Demi-God

Marle jumped into the cockpit of the Epoch and waited while Lucca and Magus got into their seats. "Ready?" she asked as the glass closed. Magus nodded, and Lucca replied drearily "Yes, Marle, Let's go." "OK! Let's GO!" Marle set the ship to the correct time and pressed the ignition sequence. The world flashed around them, and suddenly they saw the Truce, Medina, and Arris domes zoom beneath them as they circled the world, and stopped above the swamp again.

After a bit of a rough landing, Marle excitedly jumped out and held her hand out to help Magus out. He swatted it away and flew quietly to the side. "Rude..." she muttered under her breath, as she put her hand back out for Lucca. Lucca, her leg pinned grabbed her hand, and pulled herself up with Marle's help. Marle, seeing what had happened yet again, sighed. "I never get to fly it again, do I, Lucca?" Marle really liked piloting the Epoch, but was really bad at it. She wished that she and Lucca could switch places. She really admired Lucca's brains... even if she was really dreary, and not all that good-looking, Marle really wanted to be so smart that she could fix things she'd never even seen before, like Lucca had done to Robo. Lucca frowned. "If it will ever fly again, it won't be you in the pilot's seat, Marle." Marle ignored her little hint of anger, and smiled anyway. "You can fix it Lucca, I know you can, you are a genius!"

Magus suddenly broke in. "Will you girls stop your blathering and let us proceed? The Epoch will not be moving from there, regardless of who comes by." Marle, turned and glared at him, inwardly laughing a the surprised look that it generated from him. She hated Magus. He seemed like a really nice guy, but he was to depressed and unfriendly for Marle's taste. "I'm coming Magus!" She said, trying to sound perky and happy, "Lucca, would you rather stay or come with us?" Lucca looked forlornly back at the crashed Epoch, but answered "I'm coming."

Marle did a little jump and giggled at her ponytail tickling the back of her neck. She hugged Lucca, saying "Thanks for not being mad about the Epoch! I'll try harder next time!" When she pulled away, she noticed that Lucca was at least smiling again. Marle didn't like to see people being sad. "Now! Where is the thing that makes this place so nasty?" Lucca pointed to the east. "A local man in the future mentioned an 'Evil Crab' in that direction, that's probably a good place to look." Marle pointed her little knife in the general are that Lucca had pointed, and "Onward for the future!"

Marle looked sadly down at her light blue-green pants-dress as they stuck to her legs with mud up to the knees. They had been walking for hours, seeing nothing but swamp and trees. Lucca had been carefully marking the trail with charred trees as they walked, and Magus was still perfectly clean, having flown a little over the surface of the mud the whole time. He smirked down at her looking at her dress. She stuck her tongue out at him. "So, Lucca, What now? We can't just keep going like this forever!" Lucca was trying to get the mud out of her kneepads that she had insisted on wearing. "I don't know, Princess..." she muttered irritably, then quickly added "Um, Marle..."

Marle frowned, but then shrugged the misnomer off. "What kind of princess would be walking around knee-deep in stinky water?" she asked with a little hop. Then she giggled and pointed to a nearby opening in the ground, starting a few feet above the mud. "Maybe we could rest in there! Lucca, mark a tree! Magus, fly up there and help us in! Wheee! Out of this mud!" Magus flew up to the mouth of the cave and reached down for Lucca's hand. He quickly pulled her up, and reached for Marle. Marle reached up, took his hand, and started her ascent. Then, she felt him let go. She fell two feet down and rear-first into the mud. Magus quickly apologized and reached into the mud to carry her up, but Lucca burst into laughter.

"Magus! How could you do that?!" Marle was mad, but couldn't help laughing a little at the absurd look of herself when Lucca produced a mirror. Lucca could hardly contain herself, and Magus was as close to laughing that she had ever seen him. "Well, OK, it was a little funny... but you don't have to pass out, Lucca!" Lucca was just starting to slow down. Marle giggled and walked back into the cave a few steps. "This is bigger than I thought! I wonder if there is any clean water in here..." She heard Magus call from a distance into the darkness. "Princess, there is a hot spring back here, if you desire to clean yourself, I apologize again, it was not intentional." She approached him and extended her hand. "It's OK, Magus, no hard feelings!" He took her hand and immediately let go, it was covered in goop. She laughed, as he dipped his hand in the spring, and she saw a glint of something white in the darkness. "Did you just... smile, Magus?" "Let's not mention it too often, eh Marle?" he said with a smile in his voice, and walked away toward the entrance, and sat opposite Lucca, leaving Marle to bathe herself and her dress in the warm water.

"Ok guys! I'm done, I hope you didn't peek! Come, ON! There's got to be something in here!" Lucca rose and came towards her, and Magus silently followed. "God, Marle, you are still soaking wet! You could have waited until you were dried off to call us..." Lucca closed her eyes and heated the air around herself, helping to dry Marle and her dress more quickly with a hot breeze. Marle shook her head. "It's not like my dress is still in the water, Lucca! But thanks anyway, Magus was looking too long!" Magus rolled his eyes. "Just kidding, Magus! Let's go!" The trio wandered off into the darkness.


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