The Children Of Zeal Chapter Five

Magus’ Lair

By Froborr d'Wiggy

Chapter Five Characters:

Magus: Level **
Weapon: Doom Scythe
Head: Gloom Helm
Body: Gloom Cape
Accessory: Gold Stud

Glenn: Level **
Weapon: Masamune
Head: Safe Helm
Body: Moon Armor
Accessory: Hero Medal

Schala: Level 84
Weapon: None
Head: Safe Helm
Body: Prism Dress
Accessory: Amulet


I stared at my tower, and at the Black Omen floating above it. Thick black stormclouds hung across the sky, and the black wind blew powerfully through my veins. Distantly, I could hear Lavos whispering to my mother, manipulating her as he always had—and whispering to another me as well…

Glenn stared into the middle distance, his jaw slack.

“You… feel it too?” I asked.

“Yes…” he answered. “There be two Glenns in this foul place…” He shook himself. “Come, Sir Magus, we have much work to do.”

We headed for the tower, and were easily let through by the guards.

“What is this?” asked Glenn. “Thy guards were not so accommodating the last time I came to thy lair…”

“Well, of course not,” I answered. “Last time you didn’t have their master with you.”

We walked through the tower, and I opened the secret entrance to the dungeons. We quickly made our way to Schala’s cell, where she was lying, unconscious or asleep. Glenn grabbed her helmet and armor from the wall opposite the cell, and I used Fire magic to melt the bars.

I stepped in, and kneeled over her. “Schala?” I whispered.

Her eyes fluttered, and then opened. “Janus?” she said. “Janus, you came for me!”

I smiled. “Come on, let’s get you out of here.” I took her armor and helmet from Glenn, and she pulled them on.

“Quickly, Sir Magus, we must—“ started Glenn.

“Just a second,” said a cold voice from behind us.

We turned, and saw… me, standing there, scythe drawn and ready. I stared at myself, astonished.

“Do I really sound like that?” I asked.

The other me laughed, and gestured. All three of us were flung against the walls of the cell, and Schala was knocked out. Glenn landed on his feet, and rushed the other Magus, swinging the Masamune.

The other Magus disappeared with a flicker, and Glenn slammed into the opposite wall. “What!?” he gasped. “Thou didst not possess such power when I fought thee!”

“No,” I answered, “I didn’t… when we fought, I had had maybe five years of training in magic, and everything else I knew, I taught myself. But this version of me is far stronger… he has been allied with mother for years, and clearly has learned magic I never knew. And also… he never had his powers drained by Lavos.”

“Quite the opposite,” said a voice, my voice, from behind me. I whirled to face the other me, and he laughed. “I have been given powers beyond those of any human before me by the great Lavos… you, whoever you are, are the most powerful challenger yet. Shall we?”

I responded with Dark Matter, ripping open space and time to strike at him. But in the time between my casting the spell and its effects reaching him, he used a power I had never regained since my fight with Lavos—I was struck by a wave of flame as he rendered himself immune to all but Fire magic. Glenn, on the other hand, being of the element water, was knocked out by the blast.

I shook myself, and sent flames hurling at the other me while casting Magic Wall on myself. He laughed, and cast Ice at me, rendering himself immune to everything else. I struck out with an Ice spell, and he countered with Dark Bomb, raising shields against everything except Shadow. I cast Dark Bomb, and he waves of flame again shot out.

And I leaped straight through the flames and slashed him with my scythe—but he was already gone, phased out of existence again. I turned slowly, scythe at the ready and magic in my fingertips.

“Where are you?” I called out.

“Right here,” he replied, mockingly, and appeared behind me. I swung my scythe to meet his, and the blades locked, grating against each other. The other me laughed, and lightning leaped from his scythe, hurling me across the room. I leaped to my feet—and the handle of his scythe smacked across my face, and I knew no more.


I jerked awake in a cell, but not one from my dungeon. Nearby were Glenn and Schala, sitting and watching me.

“Janus?” said Schala. “Are you all right?”

I shook my head, and stood. “I’m all right, just a little bruised… mostly in the area of my pride.”

“Glenn helped heal you… I’m sorry I got you into this, Janus.”

“It’s all right,” I answered. “We just need to find a way out of here.”

A voice spoke from midair. “Hey, big brother! They’re in here!”

Another voice: “Hey, they are! Good job, Masa!”

Masa and Mune materialized in the middle of the room, holding our weapons and armor, except for the Masamune. They handed it out to everyone, and then warned us to stand back, while they X-struck the door, bursting it open.

“What?” said Schala, looking around. “Are we in the Ocean Palace?”

“Almost, Princess,” said Masa.

“It’s called the Black Omen,” said Mune, “and it’s the airborne version.”

“Is mother here?” asked Schala. “She is! I can feel it… I have to find her!”

“Schala, no!” I screamed, as she ran down the hallway, and then chased after her, followed by Masa, Mune, and Glenn.

All five of us were brought up suddenly short by the figure of Glenn, dressed in black and wielding an evil-looking black sword.

“So!” cried the Twisted Glenn, “these are the allies with which thou thinkest thou canst overthrow the Queen? Thou traitor, to battle against thy own mother so!”

“Oh no,” I said, shaking my head, “you have it all wrong. I’m just passing through—“

“Liar!” he cried, raising his sword. “I know all thy evil schemes—or hast thou already forgotten that thou didst attempt to recruit me to slay the rightful Queen, even as I helped thee to slay the usurper Leene? But I know thy weakness!” He laughed. “Thou and I both know that I can slay thee, with the power of the Murasame!” With this, he lunged at me, his sword headed straight for my throat.

I parried the blow with ease, and flung him away.

“What?” he gasped, clearly astonished. “Thou couldst never do that before—how did thou…”

I smiled coldly. “I’ve had experience with magical legendary swords—ones a lot more powerful than that piece of junk you’re carrying!” I rushed at him, and struck at a downward angle with my scythe, tearing open not only the Twisted Glenn’s flesh, but also the fabric of reality itself. Energy poured in through the gap, creating a column of pure force that sprang upwards from my cut, burning Twisted Glenn to ash.

I look down at my scythe in shock. “I—I didn’t think I could still do that!”

“Fighting yourself must have restored some of your lost power,” said Schala. “Now let’s get going and find mother!”

“I don’t think so,” said a cold voice. “Do you, big brother?”

“No, Mura, I think they’re going to have to pass us first.”

The Murasame shimmered, and two figures rose from it—presumably, Mura and Same.

Masa and Mune moved into battle postures. “You guys go on ahead!” yelled Mune.

“Yeah, we’ll take these twirps!” cried Masa.

Schala ran into the next room, while Glenn stood and tried to decide what to do. I started to run after her, while behind me Masa and Mune fought furiously against their Twisted counterparts. I paused a moment, and turned back. “Let me just see if I’ve gotten back one trick in particular!” I yelled to the combatants, and gestured towards the Murasame. It shattered into thousands of black shards, and Mura and Same staggered as if struck. Masa and Mune took advantage of the momentary distraction to redouble their efforts, and swiftly dispatched Mura and Same.

“Are they dead?” asked Glenn.

“Well,” answered Mune, “about as dead as semicorporeal animate personifications of weapons ever get, anyway.”

He and Masa suddenly rushed each other, meeting at a point above Glenn’s head, and the Masamune dropped into his hands.

We rushed into the next room, Zeal’s throne room, just in time to join Schala in watching the Twisted Magus kill Queen Zeal.

He turned to face us. “So,” he said, “if it isn’t the guy who looks like me. Welcome to my lair. Come for a second round?”

“Listen,” I whispered, “we have to keep alive long enough for Janala to come back. So let’s string this out as long as we can…”

Glenn drew the Masamune. “Thou art powerful, Sir Magus, but two of us are of the party that slew Lavos!”

The Twisted Magus laughed. “Fool! Lavos is not dead! He sleeps deep within the earth, growing ever stronger—and I, as his new ally on the surface, will know limitless power for the rest of my life!”

“Fool,” I said. “Another one duped by Lavos… I will have to destroy you as well, I guess.”

But before I could strike, he lashed at me, scythe meeting scythe, just as before. But this time, I wasn’t alone. The Twisted Magus was forced to jump back as Glenn struck, just missing him with the Masamune. Laughing, he cast a Dark Bomb—which never landed.

Schala stood, her hand reaching out as if pulling something in, and the Twisted Magus stared at her, feeling the magic sucked from him. Schala gestured with her free hand, and I felt energy flowing into. We never would have been able to do it, if it hadn’t been the same people at both ends of the flow—but she was able to force open the channel he used to cast spells, and drain his power bit by bit, feeding it into me.

“So…” gasped the Twisted Magus. “You brought… a wizard with you… it won’t do you any good.” I felt a chill as the black wind suddenly rose, filling the room with the dark power of Lavos, as the Twisted Magus opened a channel to it. Dark energy lashed almost visibly across the room, and Schala was sent flying, breaking the connection. The Twisted Magus turned to face me, drawing his staff, and Glenn struck with the Masamune, forcing him back, while I readied a spell.

Suddenly, he vanished again, and my spell lashed uselessly against the wall. He appeared over by the Mammon Machine, and laughed as it activated. “Now!” he cried. “Witness the true power of Lavos’ allies!”

He gestured, and a wave of energy swept from the Mammon Machine, lashing into me and Glenn. I could feel the power of the Machine, slowly pulling my body apart and pinning me down, as Twisted Magus came to stand over me.

“The black wind never stops blowing…” he said quietly, his lip twisting in mingled disgust, triumph, and amusement. “You tried to stop it… and now it’s blown you away.” His scythe rose glittering into the air, and then rushed down towards my face.

A slender blade, blacker than midnight and darker than death, blocked the blow and sent the Twisted Magus staggering halfway across the room.

He stared at the newcomer in the fight, and a look of utter hatred crossed his face. “You!” he spat.

Janala gazed back coldly. “Me,” he said, and leaped into the Twisted Magus, slashing twice with his sword. He drew back for another stroke, and then paused, for just a moment.

“I’m sorry, son,” he said quietly, and then stabbed the blade through the Twisted Magus’ heart, before leaping into the air and crashing down with it, a column of pure dark power crashing down around them to accompany the blow.

The slashed and charred corpse of the other me crumpled to the floor, wreathed in frost, lying there for a fraction of a second before the now-uncontrolled channel of power from Lavos caused it to explode in flame. The Mammon Machine began to crackle with energy, and the entire Black Omen shook as if from a blow.

“Quickly!” yelled Janala, and freed Glenn and me. Glenn paused to Heal Schala, himself, and me, and then we ran after Janala, while behind us the out-of-control power flow caused the Mammon Machine to explode.

We rushed out of the Black Omen, to the spot where once, long ago and far in the future of another world, I had first entered it, and saw the Twistor boiling below. Without a word, Janala jumped over the side, followed by Schala. I was about to follow, but Glenn caught my arm.

“Before we go,” he said, “who was that, and why did he call the other you ‘son’?”

“That was Janala,” I answered. He used to be the King of Zeal. Now come on!”

We jumped over the side, into the Twistor, while above us, a series of explosions tore the Black Omen apart.


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