Chrono Trigger Dimensions Chapter 43
The gate opened to spew out the group into a desolate world. Looking around, they saw the world, now completed. There was no life whatsoever. Just a permeating pale, brown gloom that stretched out infinitely in all directions. Far off in front of them stood the dark castle that housed Nikades and his wretched minions. Far above, a pale sun tried vainly to shine through.
The gate closed, shutting off the red light that had intensified the gloom. They were on their own now.
"Looks like Nikades didn't do this world any favors," Crono said, breaking the silence.
"We have to hurry to the castle," Melchior said urgently, "Maybe we can catch Nikades off guard if we are fast enough."
The group started off toward the castle at a slight run. Stepping over the dead flat world that shouldn't exist was like wading through a murky swamp without foilage and water. The castle seemed to grow as they advanced. It was large.
For a moment, the sun shone through, seeming to shimmer on the ground as though it were water. Then it hid behind the fog once more and the world darkened.
Marshall broke into the lead, being able to carry larger strides with his large legs. He had his sword out and was carrying it protectively so as not to slice himself. Frog was in second, but was having trouble keeping up. Marshall was as fast as he was big.
Marshall stopped as they reached the closed gates of the castle. The double doors were each at least thirty feet tall, and very imposing. The others caught up with him as he thought through this new dilemma.
"How do we get through this?" Cid asked.
"Know of a secret entrance into THIS castle?" Marshall asked, turning to Marle.
Marle unnecessarily shook her head. Then Lucca stepped forward, holding a small object. She laid it by the door and pressed something on the object.
"Step back," she said, turning and breaking into a soft jog away from the castle.
"How far?" Crono asked as he followed her example.
"Just follow me," Lucca replied.
The others followed Lucca as she continued away from the castle's door. After going about fifty feet, they heard a loud explosion behind them. They turned to see as a column of flame and smoke erupted from door. The doors were both thrown back into the castle, spinning from the sudden burst. They landed loudly deep inside the castle.
Smoke continued to billow out from the bottom of the entrance where the bomb had gone off. Lucca stopped and turned back to the castle, "Right about here will do."
"I would prefer if you judged where to run BEFORE you set the bomb," Crono replied, dryly.
"Details, details," Lucca waved him off, walking back toward the castle, "Let's go."
"I don't think we'll take Nikades by surprise any more," Melchior mumbled.
Marshall took the lead once more and carefully stepped into the dark foyer of the castle. He disappeared behind the smoke and for a moment was separated from the others. Then they were through as well and the group was one once more. Strangely, the Masamune began to glow as they entered, illuminating the room they were in.
The foyer of the castle looked much like Guardia's had when it was still around. No decorations adorned the stone walls, floor, or ceiling. Two doorways stood, one in front of them and the other lay to their right. The two main doors were nowhere to be seen.
The group looked around to see who had spoken. The voice seemed to have been spoken into their mind, their ears unused. No one was present.
I'm sure you are interested as to how far along I am
"Surely he hasn't escaped yet, has he?" Glenn stated, waving the Masamune around to better illuminate the far recesses.
"No," Melchior said, then assured them with, "If he was, we'd be gone already.
Hear my voice
"What's he talking about?" Marshall asked.
Look into my eyes
"I don't know," Melchior said, "but I don't like this one bit."
Feel my pain
This last statement was said in a much darker tone. The castle, maybe the whole of Limbo, started to shudder. The group looked around, unprepared for what might happen. Then a white light seemed to erupt in the room. It became brighter and brighter. Then the light enveloped the group.
Witness my world to its fullest
The light died, revealing an empty room.
* * * * *
Crono found himself lying on the floor. He wasn't hurt or tired, the sudden position puzzled him. Crono climbed up to his feet and peered around his environment.
He was all alone.
The room was near dark with the absence of Glenn's sword. Even so, his eyes were somewhat adjusted already and he was able to spy out his surroundings minus the details.
He was still in the castle apparently, the walls and ceiling were the same grey stone that the previous room had been adorned with. He was now, though, standing at the far end of a long narrow corridor. He couldn't make out the other end, but by looking behind himself, he could see that he was nearly pressed up against a wall.
Mission one was finding his friends.
He started to walk down the dark corridor when suddenly, he heard a venomous roar erupt from the far side. The sword was immediately back in his hand as he cautiously crept down the path.
The roar erupted again, this time much closer. It was definitely down the hall. Off in the distance, he saw something shambling toward him. However, it was only a movement he saw, not the thing that was moving.
Mentally apologizing to his sword he slashed at the wall to his side. The sword struck the stone will a loud clang. Sparks flew away from the impact of steel on stone, giving the area around him a brief moment of light, though very faint.
The thing coming toward him wasn't anything he had ever seen before. In the brief moment of dim light, he had seen something insect-like coming toward him. It had front appendages like that of a preying mantis. However, its head was like that of a dragon, with slitted eyes, snout, and sharp curved teeth. Its back portion was unseeable.
Crono backed up as the movement came toward him again in the darkness. He held his sword in front of him, ready to fight.
One of the sickle arms came arching toward him as the beast reached him. He swung his sword quickly to parry the attack. There was a clang as the two weapons connected, then Crono saw the things head coming toward him, attempting to bite his neck.
Then he heard something else coming at him from behind.
* * * * *
Cid stumbled awkwardly as he found himself standing in a maze of mirrors. He looked around and saw as though there was light, though the light had no apparent source.
There was one thing strange, however. He had no reflection in any of the mirrors that surrounded him. He looked around, looking for a way out of the maze.
The only way was through the maze.
Great, Cid thought to himself.
He started walking down the first passage that presented itself to him. He bumped into on of the mirrors accidentally. It was hard to tell where he was going in here even without his reflections.
He looked into the mirror he had bumped into, still seeing no reflection. He started to turn away, when something caught his eye.
Far into the mirror, as though from a distance, a figure was slowly walking toward him. Cid shook his head to clear himself, thinking that this was only his imagination coming from hitting his head. He looked back into the mirror.
The person was still coming. It was closer now. Cid looked to his left to see that the same figure was walking toward him in that reflection as well. Cid scanned the area to find that it was that way in all of the mirrors.
Then Cid recognized the person in the mirror. It was him. Cid panicked and ran off down the winding passages of the maze, looking for a way out before his reflection got to him. Everywhere he went, he saw the same picture of his reflection walking toward him. He could see his features now, they were nothing like the true Cid's.
There was a look of malevolence and evil in its eyes. It was now fifty feet from the glass. Cid turned right, then took a left at the next fork. He ran into a mirror, hitting a dead end. The figure was now forty feet. All of them.
* * * * *
Marle looked around her new surroundings to find herself alone. She was standing in a wide, endless, and flat meadow. There was no sign of Limbo or the castle. She sighed, wondering where she was.
A screech brought her out of her reverie. She looked above her to see a swarm of large birdlike creatures coming toard her. There were dozens. At least fifty.
Marle took out her crossbow and fired the first shot. One of the creatures fell to the ground, dead.
The queen turned and ran away from the swarming monsters as she reloaded and fired another shot into the flock.
How was she going to get out of here? Marle fired again and again and again, reloading quickly as the monstrosities gained on her.
Even as she continued to run, she saw that there was nothing but plains that stretched out before her.
'Where are the others?' she thought to herself as she downed another beast.
Then the monsters reached her.
* * * * *
Glenn peered around himself to see that he was standing in a large circular arena. Nobody sat in the seats that surrounded the arena, but he suddenly heard a cheering erupt.
"And now, witness before your very eyes. . .the greatest battle of all time!" a voice boomed from nowhere.
Glenn held the Masamune tightly as he spun about, looking for the opposition. Then a gate opened up at the far end from where he stood.
Glenn looked curiously at a lone figure that emerged from the dark opening. That person looked so familiar.
The person drew his sword, which was also ver familiar. . . .Cyrus held the Masamune out before him, inviting Glenn to begin the bout.
"Cyrus?" Glenn asked unsuredly.
"Time to see who really IS the best, Glenn," Cyrus replied, walking toward the amphibian.
"What are you doing here?" Glenn continued.
"Defeating an easy opponent," Cyrus replied, swinging his sword at Glenn.
* * * * *
Lucca opened her eyes and looked at who had spoken.
Nikades resided, still encased, inside of the crystal altar. His eyes remained closed, his body unmoving. She looked around herself to see that they were in the throne room of the castle, the altar being the throne. Then she saw three figures behind Nikades.
Marshall, Magus, and Melchior each stood, frozen like statues. They stared forth with no recognition of who was by them.
Enjoying the view?
"What have you done with them?" Lucca asked.
These three presented the largest threat to me. Each posses magic far beyond that which you and your other friends could ever hold. They needed to be subdued in order to make sure nothing would happen to me
"And the o-others?" Lucca asked, fearing the worst.
They are entertaining my minions at this moment
It was unnerving to hear the words come from something that didn't move. Lucca peered closely at the figure, "What do you want of me?"
You have a special task for me
Lucca shuddered, "What?" she asked, wondering if she shouldn't.
So full of questions. You'll see
Lucca looked back at the three helpless figures once more. Was it possible for them to win at all?
* * * * *
Crono ducked as a last resort of self preservation. He heard snapping as the two beasts missed him barely. He rolled onto his back and looked up to see the two monsters rearing over him.
Crono thrust the sword up and at his first antagonist. The beast was unprepared for the attack and was struck in the stomach. It shrieked at the pain that suddenly wracked it. The monster shuddered, then retreated back.
Crono watched as it faded into the darkness to nurse its wounds. Then he saw a sickle arc toward his head from the other. Crono rolled quickly, hitting the wall hard, as he heard the bladed arm hit the stone floor beside him.
Crono lay on his back and threw his legs over his shoulders. Using the momentum, he rolled his body back, ending up standing back on his feet, sword in hand. The monster raised its sickle and swung it at him in a backhand motion. Crono backed up, allowing the weapon to strike the wall. He then hacked at the demon, who blocked the blow with its remaining sickle.
The two combatants peered at each other, waiting for an opening. Then the monster roared and swung both of its arms at Crono, as if to hug him. Crono started to duck; then, just as Crono had anticipated, the monster rearranged its attack lower.
Crono jumped up, using his bent legs for momentum. The monster's hug attack sliced nothing as Crono vaulted up into the air. Crono raised his sword and brought it down as he descended, it embedded itself into the dragon head of the monster.
The monster flinched back, trying to avoid the attack, but it had too much momentum put into its swing. It shrieked as the blade penetrated, then fell over onto its side. Dead.
Crono turned from it and began to continue his original walk toward the far end of the hall. He would surely find his way out at the other end.
A few dozen meters later, he crossed the body of the wounded, now dead, monster that he had originally cut. He carefully stepped around it, not sure it was dead. However, it didn't move and Crono passed with no problem.
* * * * *
Cid hit another dead end as the demon continued its slow advance. Was there no way out of this wretched maze!?
He backtracked and took a right instead, and followed it down a winding path, until he reached another branch. The figure was now 20 feet away and coming closer. It raised its hands menacingly toward Cid. It had claws, not fingers. The eyes seemed to pulse.
And they were all around Cid.
Cid went straight, ignoring the left path, and followed it to another junction; left, right, and straight. He took right and met a dead end. Left and straight were both the same.
Cid backed up to the original break in the path and went down that passage. The figure was now 15 feet away.
"Where is the damn exit?!" Cid yelled to the advancing figure in the mirror to his right.
All of the figures opened their mouths and laughed at him. They continued their slow walk toward him.
Cid broke into a run, hitting mirrors that he didn't see as he continued his search for escape. He hit a final dead end some moments later. The right way was way back behind him, almost to where he had started. Cid couldn't remember his way back.
Cid turned around and ran down the path madly, turning and taking random passages. He met several dead ends, but simply doubled back and tried another. He looked about him wildly, wondering how to get back to where he was earlier.
The reflection-Cids were now five feet from him as he ran in a panicked gait for the exit.
Then he took a right and saw a white light at the far end of the passage of mirrors. He broke into a run toward it.
The figures reached the end of their mirrors and slowly began to reach through. Cid saw hands erupting from all of the mirrors in front of him, knew that the same was occurring beside him as well. Claws were on all of those hands. Cid didn't bother looking to the figures that were inches away from him to his right and left.
The figures broke free from their prisons as Cid was several feet from the exit. Cid prayed for safety and broke into a legfirst dive toward the light. He felt as hands reached for him and missed. He reached the light.
Then he was safe.
* * * * *
Marle fired a shot at point blank range, throwing the five foot birdlike creature away from her. She turned and continued to run as she reloaded.
Far off into the distance, she saw a door. It was standing all alone, it was almost comical. But she knew that it was the way out. She doubled her running, trying to reach the door.
She turned and shot at another flying monster, who veered off to the right, the bolt missing. She reloaded, hoping she wouldn't waste too many shots.
The next shot took out the closest bird, sending it to the ground, wings flapping helplessly. Marle turned back in front of her to see a bird landing in front of her. It hissed and reached out for her.
Before she could think of anything better, Marle hunched over and barreled into the monster. It was caught by surprise and was thrown to the ground, trampled under the queen. Marle turned and shot another demon, but there were simply too many.
She would have to make a diversion. She focused her mind, trying not to lose concentration as she ran. Then she opened her eyes and released the spell.
A blizzard erupted around her and the birds. Unable to fly properly in the gusting wind, the birds fell to the ground gracelessly.
Marle bent her head forward and drove forward through the cold, reaching the door and exiting to safety.
* * * * *
Glenn quickly parried the first attack and fell back, trying to give himself room from an old friend. He couldn't yet tell if this was indeed a friend or a foe.
"Is it really you, Cyrus?" Glenn continued.
"Of course it is, Glenn," Cyrus replied, "Now be a good boy--frog, I mean, and die!"
This wasn't Cyrus. Glenn thrust his Masamune forward, intent on ending the battle in one blow.
Cyrus neatly blocked the attack and hit Glenn across the face with the flat of his Masamune. Glenn stumbled back, trying to regain his footing. This person indeed fought just like Cyrus. It was as if he was fighting Cyrus himself.
Cyrus attacked once more and the two attacked, parried, and counterattacked each other to the roar of the nonexistant crowd. The fight was going nowhere as both fighters were perfectly unharmed.
Glenn saw an opening soon though. He swung his blade at Cyrus's face. Cyrus, of course, blocked the attack. Cyrus's sword was low, however, giving Glenn a perfect attack. Glenn then kicked the surprised knight in the gut, sending him flailing onto his back. Dust flew out from under him from the impact.
Glenn appeared above Cyrus and swung. But not at Cyrus, instead at the Masamune. The weapon flew out of Cyrus's numb hand, to bounce and clatter several yards away.
Cyrus raised his hands above himself to block the attack that would follow. After a few moments, he tentatively peered from behind his cover.
Glenn walked away from the thing that looked like his old friend. He stepped to the middle of the arena, and turned to the people that should be around him, "It ends here!"
That it does
White light enveloped Glenn sending him to his next destination. The arena, the crowd, and the announcer all vanished in that blinding light.
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