Chrono Trigger Dimensions Chapter 22
They reached Dorino two days later. They had used the cave to the south of Magus's collapsed castle to reach the Magic Cave, and from there, they had made a hard run west; Lucca's life was hanging by a thread.
They group headed straight for the inn. The Marshall walked ahead of them, still carrying Lucca. He turned his back to the door in midstride and banged it open with his hip. The door flew open, revealing the lone innkeeper inside.
The innkeeper stood up, surprised. He started to ask what they wanted, then he saw Lucca and stopped.
"Oh, my. . .Uhh. . ." He stuttered.
"We'll take a room," Crono said, filing into the room behind the overdramatic giant, "How much?"
"Are you staying here?" the innkeeper asked looking at Lucca again, then looking at the others.
Crono looked at himself for a moment, then he remembered that he, Cid, Lucca, and Marle were still dressed up as soldiers from the future. But there was nothing he could do about that now.
"Here," the Marshall said, handing the man some gold he fished out of his pocket, "We'll probably be here a few days."
"Y-Yes, sir," the innkeeper said, scooping up the money.
The group walked into their new room. Crono looked at the Marshall, "Where'd you get all of that money?"
"I was paid half in advance by the chancellor for my currently unfinished job," he replied, placing Lucca on the bed.
Marle gave a dark glance at the Marshall, "Still doing dirty work for money. . ."
"Hey! I don't do dirty work!" the Marshall shouted back at his accuser, turning from the bed.
". . .Unless no one's around!" Marle shot back.
"Yeah, girl; I don't know why you're against me so much, whether it is because I'm trying to bring you back to your family, or because I'm succeeding, but--"
"It's not that!" Marle yelled back.
"Shut up both of you," Crono cut in with a quiet but commanding voice, "We need to help Lucca, not make her resting spot a place for quarrels."
Marle glared at him, glancing once at the Marshall then turned and left the room.
The Marshall, now free, yelled for the maid.
One of the ladies walked in, "Yes?" she asked politely.
"Would you be willing to make some money?" the Marshall asked her.
"Wha. . .How?"
He reached into his cloak and pulled out a small piece of paper. He then got a pen and began writing some stuff down, while she stood by him quizzically.
"I want you to go around town, to every shop, until you find each and every item on this list," he said finishing up and handing her the paper.
The Marshall produced a small bag containing gold from a pocket and handed it to the maid, "Here's fifty gold. Get all of these items and you'll get to keep the change."
The maid looked at the paper for a moment deciding what to do, wondering if she would be getting a big enough deal out of it.
"And hurry. The life of this girl is still in question," he said indicating Lucca.
The maid ran out of the room, and out of the inn. Preparing her search for the list's items.
"How much longer does she have?" Cid asked nervously, pacing by the bed nervously.
"I really don't know, but I think that this--," he suddenly reached out and grabbed Lucca's shirt. He pulled it up to reveal her stomach.
Cid was about to rebuke the Marshall when he saw her stomach, "Oh. . .God."
The stomach was now covered with large, redish, almost purple welts. The sickness was now having its effect.
The Marshall pulled her shirt back down and finished his statement, "--is an indication that we should hurry. It is most likely the same all down her left side, including her leg. Maybe even the other leg is now affected. My concoction slowed it down, but we really need what the maid went to get to stop it and kill it."
Cid had staggered back and was now leaned against the wall, sweat beginning to crop on his forehead. Crono looked at the unconscious body with yet another fear on his mind.
"That's right. We don't have too much time." The Marshall said.
Marle was suddenly livid, "Then why didn't you send one of us? We can't trust this to a maid. She might waste all of it on herself and run off!"
The Marshall shook his head, "She's trustworthy person. I can see it in her eyes. I sent her because she lives here. She knows all of the shops better than someone who hasn't been here for two years," the Marshall continued, indicating Magus, "or someone who doesn't spend time with other people."
Magus was silent, staring out of the window. Marle backed down, still angry for some reason. Crono and Cid nodded their heads in agreement.
Magus turned from the window to face the Marshall, "You sound like someone who has had to live as a recluse also."
The Marshall looked startled at Magus, but before he could say anything, Magus asked, "Do you need these three while Lucca is healing?"
"Not really. I'm the only one who can mix and administer the antidote here, I think. Why?"
Magus didn't answer his 'why', instead he turned to the other three, "I think you'd have enough time to get your frog friend."
Crono sat up, "Glenn! He'd help us fight off Nikades in an instant."
Crono looked at the Marshall, "How long will it take for Lucca to fully recover?"
"A few days," the Marshall replied.
"It'll take us two days to reach the Cursed Woods, and two days to return. I think we can manage it. We can leave in the morning." Crono was excited about seeing an old friend.
Magus nodded slowly. Crono looked at him, wondering why the sorcerer would announce them of Glenn. Then he knew.
Marle needed a break from the Marshall. Crono smiled at what might happen if she did stay. Then he frowned slightly, it would mean Lucca might die. The Marshall might leave because of Marle and Lucca wouldn't be healed.
"We'll leave in the morning after we've gotten something non- military to wear and something to eat," Crono said again, indicating him, Cid, and Marle.
Marle just nodded, maybe she new what Magus was thinking also.
"I'm staying," Cid said.
"But he said he doesn't need you," Crono replied, "you can see some of the countryside. . .some of the scenery and greenery."
"Countryside? Scenery? As in Cursed Woods?" Cid laughed, "I'll stay here."
"The woods aren't really cursed, people just think that. Probably because of all of the frogs and Nu. . .but if you want to stay, then stay." Marle said.
"Then it's settled," the Marshall said looking out at the darkening sky, "let's get some sleep."
* * * * *
The guard looked around with a sense of boredom.
Lookout was so boring. There was no other word to explain it, nothing was going to happen. Nothing ever happened.
He looked over to the other guard, Charlie, who was equally bored. Mark straighted his pike. The Mystics had been sorely beaten--though the humans had taken nearly as much--and there was no other threat. Only robbers and burglars. And who would burglarize the castle? That would have been foolhardy and completely stupid.
The guard closed his eyes for a moment, trying to get a few seconds rest. Then suddenly, he heard a rustle. His eyes snapped opened and his lance was at the ready as the noise of rusty tires spinning reached his ear.
Likewise was his ally's.
Then the rustle turned into a constant crash, the squeaking was now a whistle of sorts. He saw a bright light head toward him. It was huge!
Then the thing came out of the woods, it was a rickety cart, full of burning straw. The guard jumped out of its way as it crossed the down drawbridge and slammed into the portcullis with a loud crash.
"What was that!?" yelled one of the guards on top of the parapat.
"I don't know!" Mark yelled back.
He walked back to inspect this strange occurrence. The other guard did likewise, and the third peered down from the parapat's edge.
"Ho! What seems to be the problem?" the guard on the parapet asked again.
"Still don't know!" the guard replied again, annoyed at the other's curiosity.
Charlie peered closely at the cart, just as curious.
Then the fire burned its way through the hay and reached what the hay had been hiding.
Gunpowder had been discover about two decades ago. However, the creation of the gun wouldn't come for centuries later. But gunpowder was used in cannons and it was combustible.
Mark started to scream as the cart exploded. The two guards were thrown back far away from the cart, dead. The guard on the parapet ducked as the fire climbed up to where he had been standing. The portcullis was thrown back off of its hinges. It clanged on the cobblestone of the courtyard, smoking and slightly red tinged.
The wooden drawbridge collapsed from the force and creaked. Then the other end let go and it plummeted into the waters below.
The guard on the parapet slowly stood up. He peered over the edge to see the destruction. Then the parapet he was standing on gave way and collapsed, sending a screaming guard to his doom.
The resistance had struck its first blow.
* * * * *
Pret woke up from his bed at the sound of an explosion. Quickly he jumped out and dressed. Je ran to his door and opened it. Two guards stood post outside.
"What in the hell was that?" he demanded.
The two guards shrugged, both looking fearful. Pret ran out of his room and down the hall to the stairway. He would get some answers from Nikades.
On his way he met the chancellor, who had a shocked expression on his face. "What's going on?" Pret demanded yet again.
"The gates been blown open by some sort of bomb. Three guards are dead and the front gate and drawbridge have both collapsed!" the chancellor said breathlessly.
"Follow me," Pret said passing the chancellor and running down the stairs, toward the courtyard.
The chancellor followed, still breathing heavily from his run to get Pret. When they reached the scene of destruction, there were already several guards milling about. Pret stepped forward, looking down at the smoking, bent gate at his feet.
"Do any of you know exactly what happened?"
The guards shook their heads no. One said, "There were three that did, but they're dead."
"That's just great." Pret stormed into the debris, looking for anything that would help.
"Your Majesty?" the chancellor asked inquisitively, "Would it not be wise to remain in the castle? Whoever did this might still be here, waiting for you to come out so that they might kill you."
"I don't care. They can just try and kill me," Pret answered over his shoulder, then he yelled, "Nikades!!"
There were more guards outside, likewise not trying very hard. Pret walked to the edge of the new makeshift bridge that had been quickly put into place. Below was the moat water and the ruined drawbridge peering up through the water.
He crossed the bridge, asking if there were any witnesses, getting 'no' evertime. This was getting him nowhere.
Nikades still hadn't answered him, Pret cursed his luck.
Suddenly, one of the guards yelled, "I found something, Your Majesty!"
He was at the edge of the forest, where, nailed on a tree, was a paper notice. Pret walked to it and ripped it off of the nail.
You lying dog, you have no more royalty in your blood than the fungus growing on the dead trees around you. We will make sure that you are overthrown, and the rightful heir to the throne, Princess Nadia, is put in your place. Let it be know that your ruling days are numbered.
The Queen's Men
Pret wadded up the parchment and threw it on the ground. He turned to the guard, "Clean up this mess, I'm going to bed. If I wake up and this job has not been completed, I will have the head of every guard here."
"Y-Yes, sir," the guard said and saluted.
Pret was only annoyed, "That means you too, you idiot!"
"Hu--Yes, Your Majesty," the guard left, not looking so haughty anymore.
Pret returned to his sanctity; behind him the guard began yelling orders. He would sleep, but first he must consult Nikades.
Wherever that damned sorcerer was.
* * * * *
Nikades smiled as Pret finished his pitiful complaints. They were in Pret's room, with perfect privacy. Pret sat down on his bed, clearly angry.
"It seems that the rabble is finally figuring out the point," Nikades said, smiling again.
"And what is the point? If those idiot subjects can figure it out, why don't I know?"
"The point is that you will betray them in the end," Nikades said, walking to the window, where the darkness was still in full bloom. It was only slightly past midnight.
Pret sighed, "And what are you going to do about it?"
Pret stood up, "Nothing?! The next attack could hit me! And both of our plans would be gone."
"I thought they were just idiot subjects." Nikades replied.
"Even an idiot knows how to use a sword."
"As you have so often shown me--"
"What was that?!" Pret's face grew emmensely red, nearly purple from the anger he was under.
"Killing guards is nothing. You have plenty. Until they start posing more of a threat, I wouldn't worry."
Nikades started to walk to the door, finished. Pret grabbed his arm, "You do NOT talk to your king that way! I want you to do something. I order it!"
Nikades pulled his arm away and faced Pret. His eyes were still black, but seemed to be filled with some arcane power. Pret stumbled back, totally surprised by the evil transformation the sorceror had suddenly taken.
"Don't touch me, play king," Nikades said in a harsh voice, "I gave you this kingdom. I can take it away."
Pret said nothing, and the sorceror turned and left the room. When he was gone, Pret picked up his table and threw it against the far wall. He screamed angrily as he did so, yet he had no joy or release of anger in the act. He continued to destroy his room.
* * * * *
The next morning found Crono and Marle ready to leave town. They had packed some food in their bags, which were now hoisted upon their shoulders. The sun crept over the Denadoro Mountains, signifying that it was slightly past morning.
The maid had returned that night with several of the materials needed. She asked if she could rest for a while. The Marshall replied by showing her Lucca's condition and raising the payment by 25 gold. The maid had left to go back to the shops.
She had yet to return.
Outside of the inn, the Marshall and Cid said their goodbyes to the duo. Magus had disappeared that night, his whereabouts were unknown.
"I guess we'll see you two in four days then," the Marshall said shaking Crono's hand, "Five if you get lost."
Crono laughed, but Marle remained stoic in her emotions.
He reached out to shake Marle's hand, but she shrunk back. He slowly drew back, "Bye, Marle."
Cid stepped forward, "Yeah, see you two later. By the way, why did Magus refer Glenn as your 'frog' friend?"
"He's a frog," Crono replied, short and simple.
"Oh," Cid said, "Well, why not? I've seen everything else."
"Actually, he used to be human, but Magus turned him into a frog." Marle finished.
"Uhh. . ." Cid said in response.
"Bye," Crono said, waving as they turned and left.
Cid and the Marshall both waved back. The Marshall leaned over to Cid, "Strange friends they have, huh?"
Cid nodded, "Yeah. But it's all we've got right now."
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