Chrono Trigger Dimensions Chapter 20
Crono thought about it for a second, then bent and threw the Marshall one of the short swords lying on the ground. The Marshall deftly caught it, nodding his thanks. Crono nodded back and they turned to face the creatures charging them.
What had at first appeared as only two, clearly became at least a dozen as the beasts poured fourth. Magus concentrated more and the three upright braziers burst into flame, illuminating the basement for the group.
The group would have given their thanks, but they were nervously looking at the pool of gas that still lay there.
The beasts were clearly seeable now; dark black lumbering shapes towering at five feet. They were four-legged, with no hair, just leathery, black skin. Piercing red eyes glared forth, below were slavering fanged mouths. They were demons.
"What in the--" Cid began, as the first of the beast reached them.
Marle aimed the Marshall's crossbow-a weapon she knew how to use-and fired a volley. It struck the nearest beast in the leg, but the beast registered no pain or slowdown. It jumped at the nearest prey, Magus.
The sorceror, showing a good deal of agility, moved to the side as the beast landed where he had a moment before been standing. A wave of his hand sent a firebolt plummeting into the demon, throwing it across the room to land sliding into the far wall. However, it stood back up and ran back toward the group.
Crono ducked a claw swipe and swung his sword. The blade cut through the tough hide of the demon's leg, severing it. The demon stumbled, having lost an appendage, but no blood sprung forth. It tried to bite Crono, but fell over, unable to balance. It ended up on its back, facing up at Crono.
Crono jabbed his blade into where its heart should be. But it wasn't there. The beast struggled against the sword and Crono lost his grip. Then the beast flipped over onto its feet, the sword hilt sticking out of its chest and the blade pointing out of its back like a horn. Crono stumbled back as the demon came at him.
The Marshall jumped in between the two and held out his sword. The demon ran into the sword unaware until the last moment, one moment too late. It imaled itself into the sword through the head. The sword had cut its way into the demon's brain. That stopped it.
The Marshall quickly withdrew his sword as the monster slid on its side toward the startled Crono. It stopped inches from his foot. The Marshall saluted him with his sword before going after the next unfortunate demon. Crono shakily readjusted his grip on his sword, his confidence returning at the knowledge of the beast's weakness.
It had no circulatory system, no blood, no veins, no arteries, no capillaries. . .no heart. Every killing blow that was customarily used was now useless. A kill would have to be through the head. With a thick skull, that was hard accomlished.
Lucca held her dagger uneasily. She knew guns, unfortunately the Marshall had disposed of them back in the future so that they couldn't have used them on him while he was returning with his 'money'. She readied herself as one of the demons centered in on her.
Marle reloaded the last quarrel into her crossbow. None but one had been effective. That blow had miraculously gone through a demon's eye. It has instantly fallen to the ground. Another shot had hit one right in the chest, but it had remained standing, not registering the blow. Marle was confused, but she didn't try to think about it. Head shots counted, chest shots didn't.
She aimed the crossbow one last time. There were more of the demons coming into the basement. Now a dozen strong, maybe more. This was a last stand.
Lucca ducked as the beast jumped at her. It sailed over her, but a claw dug into her shirt, ripping away her sleeve. She clutched at the arm wound as blood seeped through it. She fell to her knees in pain, the knife clattered on the stone floor, free of her grasp.
The beast turned toward her and raised its haunches, readying itself for the killing blow. Lucca looked up at it weakly, wondering suddenly what was to become of her.
If only she had had her gun, this wouldn't have happened. She knew nothing about knives.
The monster ran toward her.
Suddenly, Cid jumped from out of nowhere to land on the demonic behemoth. He grabbed ahold of its neck and his momentum sent it reeling to the ground. He wouldn't let go though he had a dagger in one hand. The demon tried to roll over and crush him under it.
Lucca slowly picked up her knife as dizziness overcame her again. She stumbled up and staggered toward the demon. Cid tried to free his knife hand to stab the nightmare, but it was caught between the monster's neck and the stone ground, he wasn't even able to budge it under the weight. Huge claws swiped at him, missing him by a few inches. The next swipe was closer.
Lucca nearly fell, but righted herself in her forward step toward the enemy. She raised the knife. The monster was nearly on its back and it looked up at her. It snarled uglily at her and tried to break free from Cid, but he held on. The knife plummeted into its jaw, up into the brain.
It stopped rolling around and Cid pulled himself free. When he faced her, she smiled at him groggily.
She faintly heard him say, "Lucca, you're bleeding!" as she fell to her knees.
She was so tired. She couldn't see very well, her glasses had fallen off, but she couldn't remember when. She didn't really care when either. She fell over and was unconscious.
Magus looked down the hall from the basement to see the demons still pouring into the room. They were outmatched outrageously. There was no other choice but to flee.
One of the monsters reared up before him and he negligently waved his hand. The demon was flung back through the air, landing on another demon. The one recieving the full impact fell back and rolled on the ground. It came to a stop and staggered back up, as did the other.
Magus swung his scythe in a downward stroke, cutting into the head of another demon that had challenged him. The beast fell to the ground from the blow, out of the fight.
Magus stepped over to Crono who was busy fighting two demons, which was about to become three. Magus killed one, then waved his hand, throwing the third demon into the nearby wall. There was a snap as it hit head first, the skull caving in and the demon was still. Magus pulled his scythe up, but the first demon was still stuck to the blade. He swung the blade in an arc, throwing the corpse into a fourth demon. Crono had cut off two of the legs to his demon, and one of its ears had been cleaved off.
Crono suddenly gasped as the beast suddenly jumped forward and bit his ankle. Blood quickly seeped out of the wound. Crono raised his sword and jammed it downward into the skull of the monster. It quivered and then slowly died, its grip on his leg slackened.
"Get the others," Magus told the limping warrior, "we must flee."
"Where? They're coming through the only way out." Crono retorted bending over and placing his hand over the wound.
"Fool. There are other ways out. Just get the others. I must prepare the exit."
Magus turned and walked away from the startled Crono. His cape swirled behind him and he waved his hand sending a bolt of lightning into a nearby demon. The monster smoked from the blow, but came at Magus again. Magus lifted his hand and the monster was suddenly propelled up into the air much like the Marshall earlier. It smashed into the ceiling and then dropped, dead.
Crono looked around and yelled, "Let's get out of here! Follow Magus!" he turned and went that way, using his sword to fend off any nearby attackers.
Cid picked up the body of Lucca and ran after Crono; the Marshall picked up Lucca's knife and held it and the sword. He used the two blades to protect the two, cutting a wide swathe through the few demons that challenged him.
There were now about twenty of the monsters still living, and another three came bounding into the basement before the flow finally stopped. The Marshall started to sigh with relief, but stopped when he heard another roar. This one was different than the rest.
Another demon came into the light. But it wasn't a demon that they had been fighting. This one was flaming red, and stood at ten feet on its four legs. It opened its mouth and howled again. The Marshall could see easily the two one foot long fangs protruding from the abyssal mouth.
The other demons cleared a path as the great demon came striding in quick gallops toward the fleeing group. This one was definitely the leader.
"C'mon!" the Marshall yelled at Marle, who was lagging behind.
She ran by him, but he made no move to follow. Instead, he faced the advancing menace. An ultimate challenge.
"Where is it?" Crono asked Magus, who was facing a stone, grey wall. The leaking tank stood near the wall.
Magus made no response, instead he just faced the wall. Crono was about to yell at the sorcerer when suddenly the wall creaked open, revealing a hidden passage into a dim cave.
"This way," Magus finally answered.
"You first," Crono said pushing Cid through the passage. Marle followed.
Crono hesitated, looking for the Marshall. He could see slightly that the giant man was facing the main demon. He couldn't wait. Crono jumped through with Magus behind him.
The Marshall leaned down and picked up his cloak lying on the ground. He dusted it off and redonned it. He sheathed his two weapons and looked at the demon king. He stepped into the puddle of leaking gasoline and leaned next to the burning brazier.
The demon slinked toward him, circling slowly like a wolf. It opened its mouth and growled, its eyes closed to slits.
"It was a great party," the Marshall began, looking the monster in the eye, "but you're not invited."
The monster reared its haunches and prepared to pounce on him, when he suddenly turned and kicked over the brazier he was leaning against. It tipped over spilling out the flaming coals.
"Besides," the Marshall continued, "it's over."
The gasoline caught fire and the fire streaked toward the tank. The Marshall turned and ran toward the passage Magus had opened.
The demons all howled their nightmarish noise and panicked. Their leader ran through the tall flames and after the Marshall.
The Marshall reached the passage as the flames entered the tank. He turned around to see the red demon only about ten feet behind him, catching up fast. The flames burned all around now, and they had entered the tank's leaking gas tank.
He dived into the passage and tucked himself into a ball as the tank exploded. The red demon's mouth snapped close right behind him. It couldn't fit into the passage completely. The the flames from the explosion reached it. It burst into an inferno and started thrashing as the whole basement was awashed in the hellish flames of armageddon.
The ceiling of the basement creaked and groaned from the shockwave. It had already lost support from the tank driving earlier and the recent explosion was too much. Large chunks started to fall. Demons were crushed under some of the boulders, and the survivors were racing toward the long stairway. The the whole ceiling buckled and collapsed onto the startled demons. They were crushed under it. Then the remaining castle too collapsed, falling down in a majestic show of destruction.
In Dorino people suddenly looked far to the east-northeast to witness the castle surrender. They watched as it fell in upon itself, falling into the ground from which a large dust cloud arose.
The magic of the castle was finally released and it flew off in all directions. A multicolored shockwave flew out from around the castle thinning out as it spread.
It reached Dorino and the ground shook for a moment, some people loosing footing.
Then the rumbling stopped, the magic from the castle gone.
Crono fell to the ground as the earth began to shake. He had heard an explosion from behind and could only guess what the Marshall had done.
He rolled over onto his back, dizzy. Then a crash erupted and everything shook so much his vision was blurry. He looked at the cavern's ceiling's shaking and saw one of its many stalactites directly above him. It broke free and fell toward him.
He quickly rolled out of the way as the rock spike crashed into the ground and shattered where he had so recently been. Crono got onto his knees and looked around to see that more stalactites were falling; the whole ceiling was coming apart.
Suddenly, Marle was there picking him up and pulling him along behind her as the group left the cavern and into another passage. There was now light visible as they were nearing the surface.
"Wait!" they heard behind them.
They turned to see the Marshall running down throught cavern, avoiding the debris, catching up to them.
"Hurry!" Crono yelled back to him and turned back to run.
Cid was tiring from carrying Lucca, but he continued to run, somehow managing to keep his footing even with the shaking. He jumped over a large rock in his path, landing softly and continuing two steps behind Magus. He broke out into the open, seeing the sun and breathing fresh air. Behind him the others too exited the cave.
"We're safe," Marle said with a sigh.
Suddenly, there came a howl from the cave. The group all looked down the cave with fear.
A bright light was coming from inside. Suddenly, the red demon came bounding into view. It was on fire, flames burst from its flesh. It was smashing everything in its way. It came running up toward them.
The Marshall drew his knife he had taken from Lucca and pulled back, eyeing his opponent. When the beast was ten strides from the opening, he concentrated and threw the knife.
The knife turned pitch black from his magic as it spun toward the monster. It struck the demon right between the eyes as it just cleared the cave. The enchanted weapon threw the monster back into the cave with its dark momentum. The demon rolled down the hall, the flames flickering around it. Then suddenly, a black explosion erupted from the demon's head. The beast was literally blown to bits as the dark explosion's shockwave shot out. The cave buckled under the explosion and collapsed.
There were no more howls.
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