Chrono Trigger Prophecies Chapter 19
"Hey, how'd--" Magus turned to the yelling guard and threw him against the far wall with the force of his mind. There was a snapping noise from the impact and the guard slid off the wall. He didn't stand up again.
Magus turned from the injured soldier and continued his pace, walking into the foyer. To his left, a half dozen guards came rushing in from the barracks, pouring around the corner. A flicker of his mind and they were forced to stop as a wall of fire erupted before them, blocking their advance. Moments later, a crossbow bolt flew through the flames and toward the wizard, indicating that the guards had more than swords. However, the bolt disintigrated in midair, halfway toward its target.
Magus didn't even give them a glance. More soldiers came into the entrance hall via the cafeteria, drawing their swords and preparing to fight, albeit a bit hesitantly. Only a few of them were wearing their armor, proving that they had rushed to the defense without much planning. There was no difference, however. Armor was nothing against magic.
A small ball of flame burst around Magus's hand. Calmly, he held out his fist for the guards to witness. Several of them backed away, wary of magic. Magus smiled. Then the fireball shot off of his hand and toward the small group. The target was ready enough to duck the attack, but the blast managed to strike the guard standing behind him full in the chest. The heat tore at him as his clothing caught fire. The impact threw him into the air, landing on his back several feet back, engulfed in flames. Dead before he had struck the ground.
"Where are the knights?!" one of the guards demanded angrily.
One of the others shook his head, "A lot of them went off to explore the forest down south."
"On our own, then?" the guard asked sadly, the other nodded.
Another ball of fire had formed in Magus's hand. They had no choice.
"Give kindness to my family," the questioning guard said, lowering his head. Then his head was back up with a look of determination on his face, "Charge!"
The ball of fire was let loose once more, even as the soldiers of Guardia proved their worth.
"Do you hear that?" Crono asked, turning his head to the side.
They were now about half a mile from the entrance of the forest. Clearly before them, they could see the towers and spires of Guardia Castle. They were close, but still no sign of Magus.
"No..." Marle replied dubiously.
Crono shook his head, "Sounded like an explosion, but I can't be sure."
"If that's the case, then we're too late," Lucca replied.
"Then we had best hurry," Glenn surmised, "Marle's life would very much be in the balance of this conflict."
Glenn picked up his pace, and the others were forced to follow. Even if it was too late for Guardia, they still had a duty to the rest of the world. A moment later, they were in the forest, moving swiftly along the trail that led to their destination.
"My liege, you must get out of the castle!" a guard said hastily, pushing at the king to use the emergency exit.
The king continued to fight against the guard's pushing, however. He didn't want to leave. "Get the queen out of here, dont' worry about me! Just give me a sword."
Below, there was another explosion, followed by cries of pain. They were taking a toll. The guard listened for a second, then shook his head, "Get in the door, Your Majesty."
The king glared at the guard for a moment, then sighed, "Very well. But you had better save my castle."
"On my life, Your Majesty," the guard saluted as the king turned to leave, then drew his sword and left to fight.
Magus smiled darkly as several guards moved to block entry to the castle's throneroom. They didn't understand his purpose, not at all. They shifted nervously, only a few now. All about the foyer littered the bodies of several dozen of the castle's guard. The king and queen's protection. Beaten like they were nothing.
Magus made as if to advance on the small group, who noticeably cringed in response. Then he turned away, walking off toward the small flight of stairs by the cafeteria. Going down.
The guards immediately took action, charging him once again. But they were forced to fall back after two of them were killed with magic. Magus didn't even bother turning to face them.
"Where's he going?" asked one of the guards leaning against the wall around the corner from the departing Magus.
Another guard shook his head, while several others shrugged. One of the shruggers spoke up, "Maybe he's lost. I'd expect him to go for the king."
The throne room doors creaked open, drawing the group's attention. In walked another guard, the one who had been responsible for the king and queen's departure. He heaved his might into the oak wood and the door shut with a thud. He gave a small huff, then walked to the other guards, his sword clanking on his armor.
"Is the king safe, sir?" one of the guards asked, adressing the commander.
"He's using the escape passage," the other replied, "Did you send off the call for reinforcements?"
"Aye," the guard nodded.
Another guard shook his head, "He wandered off that way," he raised his arm to point down the passageway, "Don't know why, though."
The commander nodded solemnly, then looked at the floor around him, littered with bodies, "Is this just one man's doing?" though it was a retorical question, he still felt an answer would be helpful.
But no answer came. Instead, another question popped up, "Sir, what do we do?"
"No reinforcements will be in for at least a day, in which Magus will have already been long gone; and us long dead. This is all we have, but the castle must not, must not fall to this monster."
The commander drew his sword, then pushed past the soldier in front of him, "We're going after him."
The wizard turned from the door and peered back at the fifteen or so guards following him. They would try to stop him, as had the rest. Also like the rest, they would fail. Forgetting the door momentarily, he threw back his cloak to reveal his resheathed scythe. His hand glided over it slowly, preparing to draw at a moment's notice. His magic would take care of them, but sometimes a little swordplay was necessary.
"Halt, Magus. Surrender or die!" one of the guards, most likely the leader, was bravely advancing on him, sword drawn.
Magus smiled darkly, then raised his hand. It burst into joyous flame, the energy flickering about his hand. He prepared to end the life of yet another person.
"Hold back your magic and we shall duel this out like soldiers!" the commander yelled, stopping his advance ten feet before the wizard, "Blade to blade and physical strength versus physical strength should determine our fate, not some petty tricks!"
Magus's hand glided over the scythe once more, anticipating a trick, yet wanting to fight. His hand reached out, preparing to point at the soldier, yet he held himself back. He didn't feel he should bother with something so petty, while he could defeat the person just as easily with his magic. Yet, he was the destroyer of all, the one who would end mankind. To be challenged like this defied all that and could not be put down. The flame died in his hand.
"Let us duel then," Magus said, his hand wrapping around the hilt of his weapon.
Several of the guards were preparing to fight as well, being made even braver by the fact that this would be nonmagical combat. However, the commander silenced them and ordered them to hold back.
Just him and the wizard.
He held out his sword, then stepped forward, advancing on Magus. The wizard still did not draw his scythe, however. As if waiting for something.
"Draw and fight now, sorcerer!" the commander yelled, stopping three feet before Magus.
Magus stared into his eyes coldly, not making a movement. Not drawing his weapon.
"Then die," the commander dropped his weapon toward Magus's head. The guards behind him watched in suspense, believing the deathblow to be so quickly made.
The sword continued to descend and the commander too believed he had this battle won. But before his hopes were half up, there was a ringing sound and a flash of glinting light. Magus's scythe was up to prevent the blow, not even extended yet. Both combatants fell back and Magus twisted his wrist. The sickle's handle extended, creating a long hollow pole. The blade disconnected from the top of the pole and spun outwards, to finish the transformation. Then, Magus used the longer range of his weapon to strike the next blow.
The commander jumped back to avoide the overhead attack and the scythe struck the ground with a ringing noise, sparks briefly jumping from the point of impact. The commander used Magus's offbalance stance to his advantage and swung his sword into tehh scythe's pole, intent on breaking it. The scythe was knocked aside, but Magus managed to keep ahold of it. The guards began to cheer, acknowledging their commander's chance of victory as being high.
The commander swung again, this time at Magus's undefended torso. The wizard quickly brought back his scythe, causing his cloak to flair about him. He hooked the incoming weapon with the blade of his scythe, then twisted. The twist caused the sword to be pulled from the commander. However, the soldier held onto the sword and was pitched forward, stumbling past Magus. He turned back quickly, halfway on his knees to see Magus cutting at him with another overhead strike. Too much momentum was being put into the attack, he couldn't block it. Instead, he rolled away, holding his sword away from himself to prevent being cut.
The scythe struck the flagstone floor with a ring and a small burst of sparks. The commander spun with his sword coming in at an angle. However, Magus had regained his position much faster than he had anticipated. The scythe again came up and blocked the strike. Then, catching the commander off gaurd, the scythe twisted again, wrapping and pulling the sword. This time, the sword came out of his hands and fell clattering to the floor.
Magus's left had shot out and grabbed him by the neck, hoisting him up effortlessly. The commander futilely struggled and grasped at the hand, pulling against the superhuman strength he had no chance in fighting. His foot kicked out, striking Magus in the gut, but Magus didn't seem to notice, he lifted the commander into the air, continuing to strangle him.
The commander released Magus's hand and reached weakly under his armor. Gasping, he pulled out a dagger. Magus didn't seem to notice, however. With his last strength, he thrust the knife at Magus's chest. Unfortunately, the blade struck near his right shoulder.
Magus flinched, but showed no signs of release.
Then the commander yelled his last order.
No hesitation was needed, even as Magus gave his hand a jerk to break his victim's neck. They charged as Magus readied his magic once more.
"The door's open," Crono observed darkly as they reached the castle.
"I know," Marle shook her head as she drew her crossbow, "But I'm still here, so it's not as bad as it seems....hopefully."
There was the sound of a small explosion from within, causing them all to reflexively go into a defensive crouch. The explosion was later accompanied by the sound of ringing steel. A conflict was occurring inside.
"Hurry!" Crono yelled, dashing into the castle, the others behind him.
The world around Janus was wavering, twisting and mixing. Janus stumbled, his form too wavering between the boy and the middle aged wizard. Something was wrong here. He could no longer see his sister as he fell against his bedpost, and stumbled back. Suddenly, a ripping pain struck his right shoulder, something he would have least expected. He clutched his arm in agony as his body twisted back into the guise of his older self.
Something was wrong here, maybe Magus was dying. Janus looked around the room wildly, wondering what to expect next. The wall twisted and shifted, turning into a cloudy sky at one moment, then the next forming the wall of his castle. The bed he was leaning against disappeared as well, though he still felt support from something invisible.
The door shifted in form as well, appearing like himself at one moment, then turning into Schala, then a rock. The shifting continued, disorienting Janus.
"Vili!!" he finally managed to yell.
No answer came.
"Vili, show yourself! We need to talk now!" Janus slowly tried to stand, but couldn't find his balance with the world shifting arond him like it was. He closed his eyes, which helped a lot.
Then suddenly, it stopped. The pain was gone, the noise as well. Janus slowly opened his eyes to find that he was once again inside the bedroom, perfectly normal. He was once again a boy.
Quickly, his mind flitted over the possibilities. There was obviously something happening to Magus. Maybe he's dead, or maybe he's injured; Janus didn't know which. He did know that he wouldn't put up with this anymore.
Tonight, he would escape.
"Vili!" he demanded once more, with no response yet again.
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