Chrono Trigger Invasions Chapter 37
"Do your soldiers have everything here taken care of?" Crono asked Marle as he continued to stare at the figure.
Marle gave a quick look around at the battle around them. Most of the demons had been destroyed, but a large force of them were still breaking through the middle, now far behind the two.
"I. . .I think so," Marle answered.
"Good, 'cause I'm gonna take out the leader," Crono replied intently, beginning to walk in the direction of his quarry.
Marle grabbed his arm, "Wait! You'll get mobbed by those things in the trees!"
Crono shook his head, "Trust me on this."
"I'm coming with you," Marle answered resolutely.
Crono shrugged, but sighed and shook his head bitterly, "Okay," he said defeatedly.
Together, they advanced on the lone figure. Together, they were able to defeat all in their path.
* * * * *
Cid was leaning over the edge once more, eyeing the figure intently. Then his vision switched to movement much closer to him. Crono and Nadia were advancing.
"What are they doing?" he whispered to himself.
"Huh?" Schala asked, turning from her current job.
"Those two idiots are walking right out in the open to fight that thing!" Cid pointed out at Crono and Marle, "Stupid! They'll get overrun by those things in the woods!"
"I wouldn't be so sure," Schala said after a moment, "I think that figure's waiting for them."
Cid shook his head, but looked back at something he was sure he couldn't watch.
* * * * *
The figure just faced them calmly as Crono and Marle stopped their advance, several paces away. They glared at it darkly for a moment, their swords ready. The figure refused to move, just facing them as if it was studying them for something more important.
Finally Crono spoke, "Surrender this war."
The figure turned its glance to him and began to focus its concentration on him. No answer came. Crono waited several moments for an answer, then continued, "If you refuse these conditions, you and all of your minions will die. That is a fact that I am ready to prove."
Suddenly, the figure spoke, "No surrender. You shall not surrender either. This will be a long and meaningless war, but you will lose in the end. There is no hope. Abandon all hope."
Crono and Marle both nearly jumped in surprise at the voice, it was feminine. Most of the shadows they had met had been male, if not all. They looked at the figure in startlement at this discovery.
Marle broke the silence, "There's always hope. Some just choose to ignore it. You're right, though, in that this is a meaningless war. But, you started it, not us. End it now to prevent more casualties. Both of us--"
The figure drew its black sword, Murasame. Instinctively, Crono drew his arm in front of Marle and pushed her back behind him. The figure held the sword vertically after it was unsheathed. Aligning the blade perfectly down the middle of her face, the figure began to concentrate.
Marle tried to get around Crono's arm, unhappy about his overprotectiveness. But she stopped and stared as the sword's magic took effect. The blackness surrounding the figure began to dissolve, revealing the curséd that was sealed within. The figure bowed its head forward as the energies bled away, seeming almost to place its head upon the blade it held before itself. The blackness pooled at its feet, then slowly drifted away like a mist, flowing into the sword.
Then it was over and the figure raised her head.
* * * * *
"What's going on now?" Cid asked impatiently, as he saw a brief flash of light from the figure.
Cid leaned further as the blackness began to fade away, slowly revealing the person within. This was something he had wanted to see for a while.
Why had the figure run from him? It was armed and he wasn't, yet it had still run. Why?
Cid squinted to get a better look, but it only made his vision more blurry. He leaned even further over the edge, unaware of the danger of falling.
Then the figure was standing in her full glory, the sword's seal gone for the moment.
He leaned forward in shock at the recognition, his glasses almost falling off of his nose, "Oh my--!" He quickly grabbed them with one hand, but almost pitched over the edge of the parapet with the shift of balance. He quickly drew back before he fell, grasping his glasses to his face.
"Cid! Watch out!" Schala was yelling behind him, though he barely heard the voice, let alone the meaning of the words. There were hands holding him back, indicating that he wasn't the one who had pulled him away from the fall. He had almost spilled over.
Cid was shaking violently, unable to stop. He slowly stepped away from the edge, his breathing becoming erratic, "It's her. . .Oh, my God, it's her. . ."
"Who?" Schala asked, walking past the traumatized Cid peering over herself, trying to get a better view.
"It's her!" Cid said again, "Her, her, her!"
Finally, he broke away from his shock and was bounding away from the parapet and into the castle.
* * * * *
"Lucca. . .you're alive!" Marle yelled after the shock had worn off.
Crono continued to stare at his old friend, back from the dead. This was too much of a coincidence. Lucca stared back at him, none of the friendliness left in her eyes. They were cold and dark. Just like the sword she held in her hands.
"Abandon all hope. . ." Lucca repeated, readying her weapon for a fight.
"No, Lucca don't. . ." Crono said finally, "Please. . .don't do this. . ."
He was shaking his head jerkily, his sword forgotten in his hands.
Marle stared at her old friend. Lucca must still be alive, yet the blast had taken its toll. She was heavily scarred in several places, and probably several more. Her hair was disorderly, though that was probably from negligence.
"Lucca, what happened?" Marle asked, pleadingly.
Then Lucca smiled. She turned to Marle, and then, with no warning whatsoever, the sword was in motion. The black Murasame arced toward the unaware queen, intended for her neck.
There was a loud clang as the Murasame struck Crono's sword, brought to defense by a warrior's reflexes. Lucca glared evilly at Crono, drawing her sword away and preparing for another strike.
"Get out of here, Marle," Crono said darkly, Lucca never leaving his sight.
"She's got a spectre in her, there's nothing we can do at the moment. Just get out of here while I hold--"
Crono was cut short as Lucca attacked him. The two swords connected once again, and once again, Lucca drew back. Marle started to back away slowly, then quickly said, "But what about you!"
"I'm right behind you, just go!"
He parried a third blow, feeling his sword ring with the impact. It wouldn't take much more of this. Lucca smiled at him, stil glaring. Suddenly, she resheathed her sword. Then she was enveloped in flames. Magic.
Crono knew better than to mess with something this powerful all alone. He slowly stepped away, preparing to dive out of the way if the magic struck. Nothing came at him.
Lucca spoke again. This time, not to him but to the things behind him. The order was spoken quietly, almost inaudible. But it was heard.
There was a mass roar from the forest, suddenly. There was the crunching of leaves and the breaking of branches eminating from the forest. Then there were the sounds of whole trees tipping over, being thrown over with pure force.
Crono didn't bother to watch the charge. He turned and ran madly after Marle as he heard the trees behind him being trampled by the new invasion force. Something arced over his head, way up into the sky. It was the magical fire from Lucca. It was a signal flare.
But for what?
* * * * *
Marle turned and slowed her run, waiting for Crono, who was now running like a madman toward her. Behind him, there was sudden movement in the forest, then it was alive. Beasts, much like what they had been fighting, erupted from its depths. Only this time, there were much too many of them.
Flames from Lucca soared into the sky, which seemed to serve no immediate purpose. Marle ignored this and turned to head back to the castle.
As soon as she had turned, she spotted Cid, running in the opposite direction.
Oh, great. she thought to herself, Here we go again. . .
Marle veered and grabbed ahold of him as he tried to run by, "Cid, stop!"
Cid was trying to jerk his arm away, but failed. His eyes were strange, he was obviously still in shock somewhat, "But that's Lucca--"
"RETREAT!!!" Crono's voice wafted loudly from behind Marle.
Marle half turned to look as Crono approached the two. Cid took the moment to try and break away once again, but Marle held on, "You heard him, back to the castle!"
Marle began to drag the struggling boy back to the castle. Crono slowed down as he reached them and helped. "Cid, would you stop being so stupid!"
Cid remained quiet, but continued to struggle. Crono sighed and released him. Marle looked at Crono puzzled, wondering if she should release Cid as well.
"Sorry," Crono apologized.
"It's all right. I think I can handle him," Marle answered, misunderstanding.
"No," Crono shook his head, "Not you, I'm sorry to Cid."
With that, Crono raised his sword and hit Cid atop the head with the hilt, knocking him unconscious. Cid slumped forward like a rock, and Marle nearly lost her hold.
"Crono!" Marle yelled out, the word almost a question.
"I swear, this kid has a death wish," Crono said, grabbing ahold of Cid once more and preparing to drag him to the castle, "Let's go."
Marle sighed, understanding the necessity for the strike. Together they carried him back to the battle. Behind them, the force of spectres and their hosts continued to advance, Lucca bringing the rear.
* * * * *
Magus was in Limbo.
He looked around at his surroundings, which had not changed much since his last visit during Nikades' destruction. Strangely, the castle had returned, though it was the spectres' creation, not the once god's.
It was Magus's target, all the same.
The land was empty of spectres now, as they were all off in the war for Earth. Magus was sure that one remained, however. The leader.
Magus slowly stepped toward the front gates of the castle. There was no noise around him, the world was dead and quiet. He was just as quiet.
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