Chrono Trigger Prophecies Chapter 2
Janus slowly walked to the top of North Cape. He couldn't understand why the stranger would want something as worthless and easy to obtain as snow. Why? There was obviously something much deeper in this deal than the stranger was letting out. But Janus couldn't figure it out.
As he stepped to the edge, he heard something behind him. It was indiscernable, so he merely shrugged it off as the wind. But the sound persisted, and soon became louder and more distinct.
He was listening to voices, they had returned.
"Zeal, all of its glory and richness, washed away into the void by a dark creature. . ."
His voice, Janus knew it instantly. He stopped in his tracks and listened intently. He couldn't understand these voices either, what they meant or why they were coming now.
"You were that boy, Janus, weren't you?"
Janus smiled darkly, "No, I am Janus now."
"I once was. But I am Magus now, Janus is dead; gone."
"I'm not gone," Janus whispered, arguing pointlessly with the voices, "I'm right here."
Janus suddenly realized what he was doing. He was letting the voices get to him. Why would he do that?
Just get the snow and get out of here, Janus. You're having bad memories, Janus thought to himself, bending over to pick up a small handful of snow.
". . .Janus is dead; gone. Destroyed by all that I am and all that I have caused--"
"Shut up, Magus," Janus replied to the empty air, "I'm here and I'll always be here."
He scooped up a small amount of snow and stood back up, preparing to leave. As he turned to leave the cape, the voices returned one last time.
"That's what you think."
Janus closed his eyes and breathed deeply. Without so much as a word, he left. For a moment, he felt that he could hear laughter erupting quietly behind him, but shrugged it off as his imagination.
* * * * *
"I have your 'errand!'" Janus yelled, throwing open the doors to his basement and storming inside.
The room was empty and dark, unsurprisingly. Janus ignored this and walked into his original spot, between the unburning braziers. He had been like this the whole trip through the castle, not allowing the voices a moment to taunt him. Even with the quick pace, he had heard them, speaking far behind him and fading away before he could put images to the words that reached his ears.
Janus stood still finally, standing in the center of the shrine-like area. Nothing moved around him, but he remained where he was, paitently waiting. Several minutes passed, but nothing.
Janus glared at the emptiness around him and repeated louder than before, "I have your 'errand!' Show yourself so that we may get this stupid business over with!"
"What business?" asked a voice.
Janus almost answered the question, when he realized that it wasn't directed at him. The voices had returned. He shook his head angrily, "Quit it with the hallucinations, you aren't affecting me!"
"A small matter of killing, young one," replied another, whom Janus recognized as Ozzie.
Flashbacks. That was what he was having. It was simply the familiar ground was drawing things from his head. . .
"Who are we killing?"
"Humans. . . .Sound fun to you. . .Janus?"
Janus jerked his head up at the sound of his name being called. The room was dark, but he could make out a figure before him. And it wasn't the cloaked mystery.
"Ozzie. . ." Janus said spitefully, preparing to fight, "What are you doing here?"
The figure didn't respond. Instead, it stared at him a moment longer, then slowly faded away into the blackness. Janus squinted his eyes, trying to follow the phantom, then shut his eyes completely and flinched back when the braziers suddenly burst into flame. Janus gasped from the shock to his eyes, which stung from the sudden glare. His hand involuntarily covered his throbbing orbs.
"I'm here," said a familiar voice from an area in front of him, "Where might the snow be?"
Janus drew his eyes open slowly, adjusting to the bright light. They wouldn't adjust enough, however, but he could make out the silouette of someone before him. The once wizard drew his hand away and straightened up. "I have it right here," Janus said coldly, reaching into his cloak and pulling out a small pouch.
Janus began to step forward to hand it to the figure, but a hand came up before him, causing him to stop.
"Do not approach me, toss it to me instead. . ." the figure gestured with his hand.
Janus glared at the person, but did as he was bid. He hefted the pouch, which sailed through the air. It suddenly stopped in midair, however, with a small wave of the stranger's hand.
"How did you--" Janus began, eyeing the person with renewed suspicion.
"Silence," the stranger whispered darkly, turning his hand around and causing the pouch to do so too, still hovering with the aid of magic. The half melted snow slowly dribbled out of it, falling to the ground and melting fast from the burning braziers' heat.
Janus calmly looked down at the evaporating water at the stranger's feet, then looked back up at the unseeable figure, "Not up to your standards?"
"It will do," the person responded, waving his hand and causing the pouch to come winging back to Janus.
It struck Janus in the chest, and his hands came up to catch it before it fell. He stuck the sack back into his cloak, and tried his question again, "How is it that you know magic?"
"Is it such a mystery to you?" the figure seemed to cock his head to the side, Janus could imagine a smile at the person's lips.
Janus nodded, "If it wasn't, I would not ask."
"Quite so," the stranger straightened his head, but made no act to answer the question.
"Are you going--" Janus began, after he realized that the person wasn't speaking.
"I have your next errand. I'm sure it's more important to you than a simple matter that concerns only me."
Janus glared at the person, and the stranger glared back. It was almost like someone looking into a mirror, such were the similarities of the scowls each wore. Janus finally nodded, "Give me my errand."
"Go to the ruins of the castle of Zeal. There you will take a book from the library and bring it to me."
Janus waited for more, but the figure was silent as always, "What book would you specifically desire?"
"I trust you will find one to my liking. I simply ask for a book, nothing. . . specifically. That is your errand."
Then the flames went dead and Janus found he was alone once again. Instead of wasting time cursing the darkness, he turned and left his castle.
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