Chrono Trigger Dimensions Chapter 30
The group stood silent as Melchior finished his story. Another piece of the puzzle had been revealed, however, it did not yet fit. There was much more to this story.
Finally, Magus spoke, "So he IS responsible for Lavos's arrival. . ."
Melchior shook his head, "I strongly doubt that. Lavos would have risen anyway. Not then, but later; Nikades simply hastened that arrival."
Crono asked, "A red gate? What would Nikades want with a gate that spanned universes?"
"An army of demons?" Marshall answered.
"Maybe it wasn't complete," Marle said.
"An army of demons sounds like our best bet. That's what he's doing right now." Crono said.
"What he WAS doing," Marshall put in, "You seem to forget that he's sort of dead right now."
"But to what end would an army of demons meet. If he was already THAT powerful, then what would several more demons cause but a hindrance compared to him?" Glenn asked.
Crono thought for a moment, then said, "You're right Glenn. Maybe Marle's guess is closer with 'it wasn't complete'."
"Then why would he need an army of demons now?" Cid asked.
"Because," Melchior said, "he wasn't as strong as he once was. His powers are held in check by that red dagger that struck him."
"The Masamune," Glenn said, fingering the hilt of the said blade, now a sword.
Melchior continued, standing up and pacing, "So he was doing what Magus did years ago. He was merely using these monsters as a diversion while he collects whatever he needs to rejuvinate his lost powers."
"Like what?" Marle asked.
"Objects, or artifacts of magic can be sapped of their energy. He is probably searching for these things." Magus said.
"Like the sunstone or dreamstone. . .or the rainbow shell!" Crono said exitedly, "He could get the rainbow shell from Pret, the sunstone from Lucca's house. . .but he would need the gatekeeper to get the dreamstone from Ayla."
"The Masamune is also one of these things," Glenn said, "I'm surprised he didn't come after me."
"Even a Chrono Trigger would have been a target for him, if it still existed," Marle said.
"Apparently we stopped him in time. Did anyone else notice that all he used to fight with were illusions of some sort?" Cid said from his seat.
"Those demons looked pretty real," Crono said.
"They exploded pretty real too," Marshall added, giving a glance at Magus, who remained passive.
"Besides that. If he could fry twenty people with a thought, couldn't he have just as easily killed half a dozen?" Cid asked curiously.
"Yeah, that's right. I guess we were too quick for him." Crono said, "he spent the whole time throwing shadows at us."
"So all that's left is to overthrow Pret, huh?" Marshall said, rubbing his hands together, "It's been a long time since I've been a rebel."
Marle gave him a glare, but righted herself before anyone noticed. Marshall stood up and stretched, "So how do we overthrow a king with soldiers and demons on his side?"
"Fire with fire?" Cid asked.
Melchior shook his head, "I've a better idea."
* * * * *
Lucca looked at the gatekeeper. It was silent now. A chunk of metal in the grass. She reached out and gave her child life.
The machine whirred to a start, the electricity coursed through it like blood. Then a red gate appeared in its frame, the wind blowing from it waved Lucca's hair around her face.
She pulled out an object from her coat. The sunstone glowed with a redish light that cascaded from the gate. Lucca gazed at it for a moment, then tossed it into the gate. The gate closed and Lucca was once again alone, the only light on her was from the noontime sun.
* * * * *
The royal army attacked again at dusk. They were now four hundred strong, having lost a fifth of their numbers. They had split their numbers into four groups, each a hundred men strong. Each group would attack from a different direction. The Queen's Men were surrounded.
The Queen's Men had lost near sixty of their forces, but they were not out of the fight. They fortified themselves, and waited for the charge. They had dug traps all around the encampment. Those traps had killed almost twenty of the hundred dead on the opposing side. And there were still more traps out there.
Then the horns sounded and the royal army charged the resistance yet again.
* * * * *
"Sneak in?!" Crono yelled ecstatically.
"It could work Crono," Marle said, "I know of at least two secret. . .uhh. . .exits from the castle. But just because they're exits doesn't mean we can't enter through them either."
"But how are we going to get out of here. This army is about to exterminate us." Crono said, not backing down.
Melchior coughed, "That's where Magus will come in. He will use his magic to conceal us. . .if he wishes to help us."
Magus bowed his head in thought, "I have no reason not to help."
"Then it's settled," Melchior said.
"Why don't we just show them Ma--Nadia. Then we could denounce the king without fighting them at all." Crono said.
"Do you really think they would believe us? It wouldn't be hard to find someone to look like me, you know." Marle pointed out.
"What about all of your men? Would you just leave them here to die?" Cid asked.
Melchior shook his head, "No, no, no, no! If we stay here, they will die. But if we can remove Pret, his men will have to return to the castle. Then Nadia can retake control of them."
"Sounds feasible," Marshall said helpfully.
Then they heard the horns signifying the next assault.
* * * * *
"It seems that they are attacking again," Melchior mused to himself.
Crono suddenly jumped up and headed for the tent's exit. He drew his sword, which flew out of his sheath with a flash of reflected sunlight, "I think we need to do something about that."
"You're insane, Crono," Marle said reaching out to grab his arm.
"Yeah, but we'd already decided that back on Mt. Denadoro, hadn't we?" he replied, "So who's coming?"
"Sounds like fun," Marshall said, standing up and drawing one of his swords.
"No Crono, don't!" Marle repeated.
"Why not?" Crono stopped for a second, his foot literally halfway out the door.
"They're innocent people," she pleaded.
"But they're killing us," Crono pointed out.
"They aren't evil Crono, they're just following orders from their king. Orders to stamp out a resistance to the throne they honor and protect."
Glenn leaned forward in his seat, "She has a point Crono. We don't have a quarrel with these people. Just their leader."
". . ." Crono was thinking, "Fine. You're right."
He resheathed his sword and returned to his seat. Marshall sheepishly did likewise, grumbling about something.
"How long do you think you'll hold in here?" Cid asked Melchior.
"At this rate, we should hold slightly over a week. But it would be best if we stop it long before then."
"That would be the smart thing to do," Marshall nodded, "So, when do we start?"
"Your appearance, Princess Nadia--oh yes, pardon me, Queen Nadia, has changed our plans heavily. We had at first planned to just usurp the king's throne and prove to the people that he was collaborating with demons.
"The only problem would be Nikades. I have no idea how to defeat him. The only thought I had was that the people would go on a witchhunt, and if he wasn't killed, at least he would have to live in hiding until I could find a weakness.
"But now that you've killed him, he isn't a threat. We just have to take the throne. But with Nadia, we can replace him without angering the populace one bit."
"Would they believe you about the demons?" Cid asked.
"They would probably burn me at the stake or something if I told them that they were living with creatures from other universes." Melchior replied.
"Melchior, we aren't barbaric!" Marle said, outraged.
Melchior chuckled, "Sorry, just a small joke."
"And that's all nice and stuff, but would you answer my question, 'When do we start?'" Marshall cut in.
"As soon as this fight ends." he said matter-of-factly.
"You mean just like that?" Cid asked, "No planning. No preparing. Just leave whenever we get the opening?"
"I don't know how much longer my people'll hold. Some might desert. That army could come crashing down on us tomorrow. We need to start as soon as possible."
"I thought you said they would hold for a week." Cid asked suspiciously.
"If they don't desert, that is the predicted time." Melchior finished, "Now, if you think you don't have much time to prepare, you shouldn't waste the little time you have right now."
* * * * *
"Who's that?" Crono asked, as Melchior presented the addition to their strike force.
"This is Lietman. He'll be coming with us." Melchior replied, pointed at the black-haired, blue eyed man standing beside him.
Lietman was about Crono height, with a little more width. A scimitar was sheathed at his belt. He neithered smiled or nodded his head at his introduction. A stoic figure.
"And why?" Cid pressed.
"He was the leader of my earlier chosen group. I thought that he would help. Just because you all are here, doesn't mean I'm going to completely replace my earlier choices." Melchior finished.
Crono nodded, "Sounds fair. Let's go before the troop decide to knock harder."
Melchior turned to Magus, "Are you ready."
Magus looked at Melchior, "Yes."
Magus raised his arms and a black aura spread from them. The black swirled around the group, concealing them, camouflaging them from outside eyes. Magus dropped his arms, the spell complete.
"Now don't drop it when we're in the middle of the enemy camp, okay?" Marshall asked.
Magus glared at the tall man, "Do I look a fool to you?"
"Now you most definitely don't ACT like a fool, but I think--" Marshall began.
"Stow it, Marshall," Marle said, "Let's just get this over with."
They advanced forward out of the rebels camp. The scouts didn't notice them, which was a plus. They might just make it.
"Now everyone be quiet," Melchior whispered to the others, "They can't see us, but they can surely hear us."
A few moments later they had entered the enemy camp that surrounded the rebels own. They picked their way carefully through the outer ring, passing not ten feet from a lookout.
Cid almost broke out laughing as the scout was obviously doing his job, yet it wasn't doing one bit of good. He covered his mouth and continued.
They entered the main camp passing tents and walking by the enemy, yet they were unseen.
Then one of the soldiers looked right at them and yelled out, "Hey, you there!" The soldier drew his sword and ran toward them.
Marshall reached for his sword, anticipating a brawl of the like he would never have witnessed in his bar.
The man ran right past them. He reached another man, "Hey, blacksmith! Could you fix my sword? It's a little dented." He handed the blacksmith the sword.
The group collectively let out their breaths and continued.
Soon they were out of the main camp and into the outer ring of lookouts. They had luck there too, they were unseen. They slowly walked out of the camp, walking several more miles out before they finally stopped.
"That was close," Marshall said, remembering the soldier with the dented blade.
"Yeah, but we made it," Cid said.
"Okay, Magus you can drop the spell." Melchior said.
"Are you okay, Magus?" Marle asked.
Magus was sweating profusely, and his face was strained and red. The black returned from his spell, then dissipated into the wind. Then Magus collapsed.
"Not again," Crono moaned bending over to examine the sorcerer.
"Again?" Melchior asked.
"He drained himself creating a time gate to this time not too long ago. I should have known he wasn't completely healed, but he continued to use his strength." Marle was angry at herself.
Melchior bent over the body, checking on its condition. Finally he stood up, "He's alright. He really used himself up on that," he looked up at the sun, "It's almost night. We'll go a little further, then head into the forest to make camp. He should be strong enough to walk again by morning. . .but make sure that he doesn't use one bit of magic for at least three days."
Marshall bent down and carefully hefted the body over his shoulder, "At least he's light."
They trekked on as the day wore down.
* * * * *
The rebels had lost as much as half of their forces now. The royal army had taken many more losses, but they had men to spare. Well over three hundred still stood. And the injured were being healed by the kingdom's best to begin the fight again as soon as possible. The rebels had no healers or doctors their wounded could only be healed by consoling words from their compatriots.
The outcome was inevitable. But the Queen's Men fought on anyhow.
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