You've Come A Long Way, Baby Chapter 3

By Imrahil

“Schala! Is it – is it really you?”
“Janus, I’ve missed you.”
“Schala! I have looked for you for so long! You don’t know how long I have waited…”
“Why did you lie to me, Janus?”
“Schala…what do you mean?”
“False prophet, do not deceive me, again! I lay dead at the bottom of the ocean because of your lies!”
“Schala! I…never lied to you! You are all that matters – ”
“Lavos rose from the ground because of you! Lavos killed me! You decided to attack Lavos instead of prevent his ascension! You were given the chance to save me – ”
“No! You escaped from Lavos with the others, because of Crono’s sacrifice…”
“Crono was killed because he was weak. His sacrifice meant nothing. I used all my power to save you, and I didn’t have enough for myself. You are a petty fool, Janus.”
“Schala…forgive me…Schala…come back”

“Schala!” Magus shot up from where he was resting. He was covered in a cold sweat. His chest ached, and his legs felt numb. He lifted his shaky hand to brush the wet, matted hair out of his face.

The moon showed through the bedroom window onto the floor, giving the small room an eerie feeling. Magus wasn’t sure of where he was, but, at the moment, he didn’t care. Magus had never dreamed before. That dream, with Schala…it had hurt him deeply.

“Schala…” he whispered. Before his encounter in the cave, Magus had spent every waking moment searching his era for his sister. He first started with the ocean palace wreckage, but he didn’t expect to find her there. After all, he had just been through the entire complex only a few weeks before while it was still floating in the air. Every month afterward, however, he scoured the land and sea, searching for his sister’s lifeforce, denying the possibility that she was dead.

The dream represented the sudden insight that Schala could not have survived. However, the worst part of his realization was that Magus now felt that it was entirely his fault his sister was killed.

“I should have prevented Lavos’ arrival, instead of brought it on. Schala would most definitely be alive now, if only I had thought. What did I hope to accomplish?” Magus was holding his knees close to his body and rocking back and forth in the soft bed. Magus’ eyes were so full of sorrow, that if one were in the room, they would be forced to look away in pity.

Magus stayed like this for several hours, until sheer exhaustion forced him to fall back asleep.

* * *

“Janus…” A brief pause followed. “Janus, can you hear me? Poor dear.”

“Schala…?” Magus opened his eyes. In front of him stood Crono’s mother, holding a tray of food.

“You’re awake! Oh, thank Leene!” Her face lighted up with pure joy. “Crono, wake up, dear, come quick!”

Magus couldn’t find the strength to speak. His will had been broken, and he only wanted peace.

“Janus, we have waited so long! Sit up now, dear.” Magus slowly raised himself up, and she set the tray on his legs. The delicious aromas wafted towards Magus, causing his stomach to twist. He had not eaten in a very long time.

“Would you like me to feed you?” Her soulful eyes gazed at Magus with compassion.

Magus slowly shook his head and picked up a fork with his trembling hand. He gently stabbed the side of some sausage, and stopped. He wondered if he should even bother.

At that moment, Crono came in wearing some ridiculous pajamas. It took Magus only a few seconds to realize he, as well, was clothed in the same fashion.

“Is he awake? Great, finally! I’ll change and get Taban.” Crono peered at Magus with a forgiving gaze. “Is he talking?”

“He said something when I walked in, but he hasn’t said anything since. Eat now, Janus, you need to eat.”

“I’ll be right back, Mother, as soon as I get Taban.” Crono jogged out of the room.

Magus stared at the wonderful meal. He looked up at those beautiful, gentle eyes. In a split second, he made a decision. Magus lifted the fork, and opened his mouth, but then stopped.

“Madame, if I may eat in private, I would be very gracious.”

Crono’s mother’s eyes almost welled up with tears. Her face expressed happiness beyond description. “Of course! Please, please call me if you need anything!” She left the room.

Magus ate most of the meal and then set it aside. He attempted to get up, but quickly decided that the notion of movement was a bad idea. His vision almost went black when he tried to stand up. Magus slumped back down into the bed. He muttered a few syllables, but found he was far too tired to heal himself. Never before had Magus been too tired to cast a spell.

He ignored his current inability to use magic, and focused on how disgusted he was. He knew he had to get out of the house. The sugary-sweet love here was too much for his battered senses.

“Why am I here?” Magus suddenly wondered. For some reason, he had been thinking that lying helpless in Crono’s house was a normal situation. “Where was I before this…” The last thing Magus could remember was the intense feeling of pain in his own home. He had just woken up in his cave, and then he had…no, he had been woken up by someone. Someone had trespassed into his cave, and Magus had woken up from behind the stalactite he had been sleeping behind, very surprised.

Had the trespasser been an animal or stray mystic? Magus could only picture a dull gray blob in his mind. But there was something else. Fear. Whatever had come into Magus’ home had been powerful enough to make him apprehensive. What had happened next…?

The sound of a door opening and closing downstairs interrupted Magus’ thoughts. Footsteps could be heard on the stairs and then outside Magus’ room. The mage had a feeling he was not going to be very happy with the next situation.

The door opened, and three people entered. Magus recognized Crono and Lucca, but with them was an unfamiliar man who was dressed in royal garb.

“And how are you feeling today?” the man asked with a big smile. He didn’t look like a doctor, but his patronizing demeanor betrayed his occupation. Magus hated doctors.

“I suppose I have been unconscious for quite a while?” Magus said indifferently.

“I’d say so. Been in fits for almost ten days now, son!” the doctor flashed a toothy smile. “But, my treatments seemed to have fixed you up quite nicely.”

“Right. Most likely your treatments were…lacking competence if I was ill for ten days.” Magus did his best to look like he didn’t have to be there.

Crono and Lucca twitched in disbelief at Magus’ impudence, but the comment rolled right off of Taban.

“’Tis true I had never seen a sickness of that caliber, before, but you seem to be doing fine now. Let me take a good look at you.” Taban leaned towards Magus with a small metal instrument in his hand.

“Leave me be! I have no need for your…prodding stick!” Although he was very weak, Magus’ voice was still quite powerful, and it caused Taban to pause for a moment.

“Just let me check your eyes real quick.” Taban shined the light into Magus’ eyes, causing him to squint and scowl. “It looks like you’re totally out of your fever, son, but you are still quite weak. I think you would have left already if you were able.”

“You’re very perceptive for an old man. Now fix my legs, so that I may get up and show you how weak I really am.” Magus’ eyes flared as he said this, but Taban only laughed.

“Your friend is a riot, Lucca. He just needs some rest. Don’t give him any potions, I want him to heal naturally.” Taban left the room chuckling.

“Bah!” Magus crossed his arms and looked away from Crono and Lucca, who were still standing in the room.

“So…uh…Magus, do you…do you remember anything?” Crono put out the first sentence.

“Crono! We went over this! He won’t remember anything for at least a few more days! Don’t get him thinking about – what happened.” Lucca paused on the last few words.

“I know, I know, I’m just…curious. Do you need anything, Magus?” Crono addressed the mage once again.

“What is wrong with my legs? And my arms? What did you do?” Magus was angry once again.

“Relax, the numbness is just a side effect,” Lucca said reassuringly.

“Side effect of what?” Magus hissed.

“Why, having your nervous system completely rebuilt, what else?” Lucca smiled after she quickly realized how absurd that must have sounded to Magus.

But Magus’ reaction surprised her. “Something…something powerful did this to me, right? What was it?” Magus bowed his head a little as he quietly spoke. “I can’t remember…”

“We don’t know. You came to us this way. In fact, we were hoping you would at least remember that far back,” Crono said.

“It’s all so…unclear. I’m just not sure.” Magus seemed to be straining hard to remember something.

“Well don’t think about it too hard! It’ll come back in time. Right now, you need to rest your brain,” Lucca said worriedly.

After a few moments, Magus spoke, his head still bowed. “Leave me. Now.” Crono and Lucca silently left and shut the door behind them.

Magus had felt it. When he had tried to remember what had happened, a warm tingling had engulfed his tired form. His magic was returning.

A smile appeared on Magus’ face, and he looked up evilly. He lifted his right arm and a dark glow appeared and outlined his form. The numbness left his arms and legs, and he suddenly felt invigorated. He jumped out of the bed and began to search for his clothing. Unfortunately, he could only find his cloak hanging in the closet.

Magus decided he would look even more ridiculous with a cloak over the striped pajamas than just wearing the pajamas by themselves, so he decided to leave. He walked towards the door, smiling, as he watched it open before him.

Magus slowly proceeded down the stairs, only to find Lucca and Crono in the living room. Magus quickly uttered a few syllables before the two noticed him, and began to eavesdrop on their conversation, completely invisible.

“Well, this will probably give him a good lesson in humility by the time it’s over,” Crono said lazily to Lucca.

“Well…I just want to know what happened to him. You know as well as I that his magic was far more powerful than ours. If something could do this to him…” Lucca trailed off while looking down.

“Yeah, I’m worried too,” Crono put his hand on Lucca’s shoulder and they both were silent for a moment. “When Marle gets back today, we’ll all talk. Magus will probably want to talk to her more than us…”

“I…I guess I thought it was over.” Lucca looked up at Crono, sadly. “What if it’s Lavos, Crono? What if he has come back?”

“That’s impossible,” Crono sounded quite firm. “We both know that threat is gone forever. Let’s go wait at the Porre Docks, okay?”

“I guess you’re right. Let’s go.” The two left the house.

Magus reappeared immediately, and quickly moved on to the kitchen. Crono’s mother was there, her back to him, washing dishes.

“Excuse me, but I have need of my clothes,” Magus’ influential voice startled the woman.

“Janus!?” She turned around abruptly, blushing. “I…didn’t know you were up, are you…?”

“Perfectly fine, madam. I just want the attire I arrived here with.”

“Of course! I’m so glad you’re alright.” She walked out the back door and quickly returned with Magus’ clothing. Magus took them from her, thanked her, and walked upstairs.

He slipped his armor and cloak on, muttered a few archaic phrases, and teleported himself to the Porre Docks.


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