Chrono Trigger Prophecies Chapter 20
"Magus!" Crono yelled as they stepped into the foyer.
Marle, walking behind him, looked about at the destruction around her. Several bodies littered the area, five after counting. Lucca cautiously walked over to one and kneeled down. She softly nudged him with her hand, but no response. He was dead. They all were.
"He's dead," Lucca said, standing up with a sickened look on her face.
"We can't be too late," Marle looked stricken, "We didn't give him enough time."
Crono shook his head, but looked doubtful, "The throneroom..."
Marle walked over to pick up a crossbow from one of the fallen to her left, pulling a a quiver of bolts to go with it from a dead shoulder. Behind her, Crono slowly stepped up to the wooden doors that blocked the way to the throne. Almost apprehensive of what he would find there it seemed, his hand was shaking as it reached out to pull on the door. Walking behind him, Glenn calmly drew the Masamune.
"Please..." Marle said, putting her hand on Crono's shoulder as he pulled on the door. Glenn reached out and forcefully tugged on the other.
The doors noisily swung open, creaking not quite loudly, but seeming to be loud from the echo. The group crowded in the doorway, though they were anxious to see what was beyond.
The room was empty.
"Oh, good," Marle sighed with relief, she was now visibly shaking.
Crono shook his head, a look of determination still on his face, "Upstairs."
However, before he had taken one step in that direction, there came the sound of an explosion from below. The castle shook from the blast, but not enough to cause them to lose balance.
"Downstairs," Lucca corrected him, turning from the throneroom to run towards the stairs that led to the basement.
"What's he doing down there?" Marle asked, following Lucca.
Crono shrugged, "Is there a hidden exit down there, maybe something the king would use?"
Marle shook her head, but offered no verbal denouncement. They rounded the corner, Glenn behind them, to see Lucca start on the stairs. "Wait, Lucca!" Crono yelled, holding his hand to his mouth like a horn to add to his voice.
"I can't wait!" Lucca yelled, "Don't you get it?"
Crono reached the stairs and started bounding down them, several steps behind Lucca. Marle allowed Glenn to pass her, then took the rear.
"What?" Crono retorted, confused, "Get what?"
"It's down there," Lucca replied, "He plans to use it."
Crono looked annoyed as he huffed, "Um, specifics would--"
Marle cut in, "The Rainbow Shell. I almost forgot about that. It's down here."
Lucca neared the bottom, then jumped the last six steps. Her feet landed loudly as she crouched only for a moment before taking off down the hallway. In the distance, there was now the sound of weapons clanging together.
"Dang it, Lucca; you aren't even armed!" Crono yelled, trying not to stumble as he increased his pace.
In response, Lucca began to eminate a reddish tinge, then an aura glowed about her. Her magic. The glow illuminated the walls to her sides as she ran past them. Crono tripped on a step, however, and pitched forward, stumbling the rest of the way. He hit the floor and slid to a stop as Glenn and Marle both reached the bottom. They ran over and carefully pulled him up.
"Are you okay?" Marle asked worriedly, she began to check for broken bones, but he shook his head.
"I'll be okay," he patted her shoulder, then turned down the hallway, "but we have to get to Lucca."
Glenn took the lead this time, even as the sound of conflict increased.
Janus, now reverted to his true form, threw open the door that led to his room. He startled the two guards posted there, though he could care less. They weren't real, and they wouldn't even exist in his mind in a matter of moments. The pain in his arm was still there, throbbing and annoying. He ignored that as well, though it was very possibly real.
Magus was using him as a buffer for his pain. He couldn't stand for that.
Janus swung around the turn, his cloak fluttering behind him, and he stalked toward the door that led to the throne room. The guards there were like the last, he had no trouble. The doors shut loudly behind him.
Inside were his mother, his sister, and Dalton. And the prophet. Zeal looked up at him with a withering look of indifference. Janus ignored her and walked inside to stand before the small group.
Finally, Zeal spoke, "Who are you?"
Janus was surprised only briefly before remembering he was now older than the Janus everyone here knew. He quickly thought up a name, then decided on a title, "I am the messenger."
Zeal gave a brief scowl at the prophet, then turned back, "A messenger...of what?"
"I have something to deliver to Magus."
The last of the guards were out of the fight, one way or another. Magus smiled as the last one dropped his sword and fled, stumbling down the dark hallway. When the soldier was gone, Magus turned back to the door and pushed it open to reveal his treasure. Inside lay, sparkling in the torchlight, the Rainbow Stone.
He calmly walked in, the door shutting behind him quietly. He was here.
This isn't such a good idea, Janus.
Janus looked around briefly, though he knew better. Vili wasn't the kind to be spotted. He turned back to the throne, yet kept his attention on Vili, "I'm getting out, Vili. If you were smart, you'd help me."
The queen was confused. She turned to the prophet, "Is your name Vili?"
The prophet shook his head, looking just as confused. The queen angrily turned back to Janus, hitting the arm of her throne with her fist, "'Messenger,' cease this now! I order--"
Janus focused his mind on Zeal. In midsentence, she shattered like glass, the image breaking into many parts, the illusion gone. Dalton, Schala, and the prophet jumped back in alarm; eyes wide at what had happened. "Don't talk down to me," Janus mumbled.
What are you doing Janus?
"You broke the pact. This isn't what I wanted, this is the Lavos encounter all over again," Janus replied, eyeing the remaining three people, "You lied to me and I plan to break my end of the bargain now."
Don't you dare, Janus!
The voice was followed by a force that pushed Janus into the wall to his right. He slammed into it hard, grunting with the impact. However, there was no pain. Janus fought back. He released his energies, sending lightning flashing everywhere around him. The electricity laced along the walls and ceilings as it blasted everything inside the room. The three others all shattered like Zeal, their fragments disappearing as they flew about.
Vili's hold loosened, then increased.
Janus released the full force of his mind, and the very world around him shattered as well.
Crono finally caught up with Lucca, who was breathing heavily. She had apparently stopped to question a soldier who was running the other direction. Crono slowed in his run as he approached. He could hear behind him as the others caught up as well.
"Is he there yet?" Lucca was asking.
The soldier nodded, throwing sweat off of his face from the movement. His eyes were wide and he was obvious a victim of panic. Crono then noticed Lucca had a firm grip on the man's arm, the only thing keeping him from running.
"Great," Lucca seemed to say something more, but realized there wasn't enough time.
Lucca released the man, who bolted away instantly, and ran down the passageway. Crono looked annoyed and ran after her. Then, far ahead of them, they heard a scream of agony. This time, it was Magus.
"Release me Magus!!" Janus yelled, throwing off Vili's attempt to hold him.
He sent out more magic, attacking the body's mind once more. Just as Magus had done to him back in the forest. Once again, a hollow voice echoed from all around, screaming in pain.
Janus was standing in nothingness, an inky blackness all around. He had destroyed all the visions, the images, and false people that had been created for him. Now he was alone, but in control.
Vili had gone away again, though Janus didn't care. He was in control now.
Lucca didn't break stride as she came up to the large door blocking the way to the treasure room. She put her shoulder in the front and rammed the obstacle. The door shuddered from the blow, but remained standing. She grabbed the rung and pulled, realizing it might not push to open. Nothing happened.
Behind her, Crono caught up and tried to help her. Together they pushed, then pulled on the door. It remained shut. Marle caught up next, shaking her head and breathing heavily, "You have...to push it open."
"Thought so," Lucca replied, then slammed into the door again with no effect.
"Might I try?" Glenn asked, drawing his sword.
Magus drew his weapon as he approached the magical stone. It was far too heavy to take in whole, but he had better plans. The blade activated and extended, turning from a sickle to a scythe. He raised the weapon, calculating the blow, then dropped.
The scythe made a screeching noise as it cut through the stone, even as something else cut through the door behind him. The chunk of the rainbow stone fell to the ground and the door splintered and caved inward.
However, Magus knew without looking that it was the Masamune; he sensed it. Quickly, he bent to pick up the stone even as he began drawing his energies for a spell. He heard footsteps coming up behind him, someone wanting to kill him, no doubt. The stone went under his cloak as he released the spell. He shut his eyes, though not in fear.
The magic took him and altered his position, sending him somewhere safe. He opened his eyes to see himself standing on the parapets of the castle, overlooking the forest far off. He pocketed away the dreamstone, preparing to head back to his castle
"I challenge thee, Magus."
"Where'd he go?!" Lucca demanded, bursting into the room and nearly tripping over the fallen door.
"Somewhere else, I'd assume," Crono shrugged, "He took Glenn with him, though. I give him five minutes to live."
Marle nodded, "Me too, Glenn looked a little annoyed."
Crono turned from the room and started walking back down the hallway, "He looked very annoyed. That's the first time I've seen him charge something like that, without waiting for help."
Lucca examined the Rainbow Stone, kneeling over. A chunk was gone. She hit the rock, then was up on her feet, "He got some of it,though."
"He couldn't have gotten far, though," Marle added, "Teleportation takes a lot to use, and he was already half wasted from all the magic he used."
"Right," Lucca nodded, following the other two out of the room, "And Glenn'll hold him off until then."
Glenn jumped at Magus, intent on finishing this battle. The wizard quickly pulled up his scythe to block, but couldn't manage to hook the sword before Glenn had retracted and attacked again.
Magus was forced to backtrack to avoid the overhead attack. However, Glenn took the miss in stride, crouching and twirling the sword around to continue its momentum upwards. He jumped up to add to the blow, turning the attack into some kind of uppercut.
Magus batted away the attack, hearing as his scythe chipped. A chunk of metal struck the stone ground, ringing loudly. Glenn had finally run out of steam, so Magus took the offensive before he could regain his balance. He summoned his magic, throwing fire at the frog. However, the Masamune simply glowed and drew the energies into itself, then into Glenn; powering him.
Magus, in a panic, swung his scythe at the rejuvinated Glenn. However, the Masamune intercepted, splitting the weapon into two pieces. Magus gasped as the blade of the weapon went spinning off of the parapets, to finally land and imbed itself into the drawbridge.
Glenn stepped back from his defense, readying the sword once more. Magus was unarmed. Seconds later, the Masamune came whipping at Magus once more. The wizard reached back and grabbed his cape, then swung it around him. It intercepted the sword, ripping from the blade but altering the course. Glenn was caught off balance and Magus took advantage. He grabbed both of Glenn's arms and tore them apart. Glenn's right hand managed to hold onto the weapon. However, it was too heavy to swing with one hand.
Magus released the right hand, then grabbed Glenn by the neck. However, he could not manage to choke Glenn, the frog's neck muscles were too strong. He quickly spun around, forming momentum. He released Glenn's neck and arm to send the amphibian flying through the air, to land sliding along the parapets several meters away.
Magus quickly drew in his will, forming the energies once more that would take him away from the frog. Below him, he could see the other three running out of the castle to look confusedly at the broken scythe blade.
The pain hit him again as Janus forced his will upon Magus'. The wizard grabbed his head, stumbling. The pain increased and Magus fell back, screaming. The yells drew the attention of the other three, who ran back into the castle to get to the parapets.
Glenn weakly stood back up, shaking his head, which did little to clear it. He looked through blurry eyes at the wizard, stumbling around in agony.
"Janus!! Leave me be!" Magus pitched backwards, reeling on the edge of the castle, "Don't!!"
Glenn drunkenly got to his feet and began to weave towards Magus. However, before he could reach him, Magus pitched backwards and over the edge, falling to the inside area of the castle.
Magus, realizing his predicament, quickly changed his energies to create a shield around him. Moments later, he crashed into the roof of the inner castle. The stone shattered under him, the shield maintaining its job. He fell inside.
"I forgot, which way to the outside battlements?" Crono said as they filed into the throne room.
"Left," Marle said, beginning to head in that direction.
Then there was a crashing noise as the ceiling fell apart. Crono quickly reached out and grabbed Marle, pulling her back. Several large chunks of stone struck the ground before them, accompanied by dust and particles. The rocks continued to pile onto the floor for several seconds before finally subsiding.
"What the--?" Crono whispered to himself, watching the dust clear.
The dust slowly cleared, revealing Magus trapped within stone. He wasn't dead. However, he was unconscious. The group stared at him in bewilderment, wondering what they were to do with these new circumstances.
Behind them, they heard the noise of marching feet, many feet. The knights had returned.
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