Chrono Trigger Prophecies Chapter 23

Internal Conflict

By Jerm

"What is it, Magus?" Janus asked, slowly scanning the area around him with his eyes.

"You know very well what it is," Janus whirled to the voice, the position changed from his earlier words.

"Where are you?" Janus began spinning around, trying to pinpoint his enemy.

"You've disobeyed me, you've caused pain to me when I was so close to victory," Magus was still not visible, but he sounded closer, "Prepare to meet the pain tenfold."

Janus felt the pressence behind him and in an instant he whirled about bringing his deadly scythe to action. It let loose a high pitched shriek as it extended to its combat mode. The cape whirled about Janus, draping around his right arm. He lowered his head, the cowl hiding his face as he glared at the black figure before him, a mirror of himself in form, though an opposite in mind.

"Where is your friend Vili?" Janus mocked, watching as Magus too armed himself.

Though the weapons were useless, the symbolism of them could contribute greatly to the fight. The mind was only as powerful as the imagination, yet an imagination could be a weakness as well if either of them forgot that the weapons weren't real.

"This is between me and you," Magus declared, "I finish you this time; despite the consequences."

"Vili is turning against you, Magus," Janus taunted, "He's beginning to realize that you are more of a threat to himself than I am."

Magus began to pace, Janus following him; the two circled each other, the gap slowly closing between them. "I highly doubt that," Magus replied finally, "I seriously doubt that."

"What did you mean by 'consequences?'" Janus asked, the word drawing his attention.

"Something you won't have to worry about," Magus answered, not giving any information out; just like Vili, "They are easily overcomed, however."

"And--" Janus began the question, but was forced to stop as he raised his scythe quickly to block Magus as the dark wizard charged him.

The weapons locked together, the blades hooking into each other. Both combatants twisted the blades, trying to either unarm the other or free their weapon. Then, catching Janus off guard, Magus pulled and released the scythe. Janus stumbled past him and hit the ground sliding on the blackness. He held onto his scythe, but Magus's came loose and spun on the ground, sliding away from him. Then it took air and returned, spinning, to Magus' outstretched hand.

Magus caught the handle and threw his cloak back, giving himself swinging room as he stalked towards Janus. Janus looked up and over his shoulder from his position sprawled on the ground and quickly climbed to his knees, raising the scythe horizontally in both hands. Magus' overhead slice was stopped short by the shaft of wood, the two scythes making a crossbar. Janus fell backwards, pulling with his moment. His scythe hooked itself onto Magus's blade, pulling the wizard forward. Janus raised his legs to catch the stumbling wizard in the stomach. He rolled back, pushing Magus forward with more momentum. Magus took air for a moment as he was thrown, then he struck the ground in near the same fashion Janus had earlier.

Janus rolled over, scythe in hand; but instead of taking advantage of his offense, he backed away, preparing for Magus' next attack. Magus stood calmly, using his magic to bring the scythe whipping back to his hand.

"Through?" Janus asked, his eyes thinning as he glared at the avatar before him.

"In a moment," Magus replied, readying himself for the next attack.

"I'll help," Janus said, then focused on his scythe.

He looked up from the weapon a moment later, then raised it above his head like an axe, his hands holding the bottom of the pole. Then he pitched foward, throwing the weapon at Magus. The scythe spun in the air, the distance closing between the target and itself quickly. Magus quickly released his scythe with his left hand and caught the incoming weapon, the point sitting inches from the bridge of his nose.

"Close," Magus mused.

Then the spell Janus infused into his weapon took effect and the scythe exploded in a magical inferno. The flames swallowed the surprised wizard, enveloping him in a split second. Shards of the shattered weapon shimmered like glass as they spun away as shrapnel, then faded away into oblivion. Janus watched, waiting to see what became of Magus, a new scythe forming in his hand at the command of his mental will.

The fire died away, revealing the blackness beyond. Magus was gone. Janus scanned about himself apprehensively, waiting for a surprise, but none came. He was the victor.

Before he could think much further than that, something pushed him forward. He bent over from the force, feeling something where it shouldn't be. He slowly looked down, his free hand reaching up to grasp something hard. A red tinged blade was extending out of his chest, the blood that stained it dripping away to the blackness below him. His other reached back to feel the wooden shaft of the scythe that was impaling him.


He reached back with his other hand, dropping his scythe to the ground, and used both to begin pulling on the blade. He could almost feel as it slowly slid through him, the blade disappearing back into his chest. Then it left through his back with a grating noise.

Janus, with apprehension, spun about, the scythe now his weapon. Nothing but blackness glared back at him. He shut his eyes as the wounds began to seal themselves and reform his avatar. When would Magus return? What would he do? He had no idea how to truly destroy Magus, that help would have to come from the outside, where they no longer trusted him. And he could no longer contact them.

Maybe it would be best if he gave up....

Janus shook his head. Magus wasn't around, he was sure of it this time. He would try to return once again. Maybe this time tell them what is going on. Lucca could help him, if any of them could.

Determined once again, he focused his mind on returning to the conscious world. And once again, the white light blasted towards him.

* * * * *

"Is it locked?" Crono asked, shifting Magus' weight from one shoulder to the next.

Glenn, standing behind him and holding Magus' legs, nearly lost his grip from the movement, but managed to hold. Lucca pulled on the door, which gave way easily, answering Crono's question, "Let's get him in here, quickly."

Lucca quickly lit the torch the king gave them and scanned the dusty cathedral. Cobwebs adorned many of the spots, and the dust even more. It hadn't been visited once in the five years since the denizens of before. The others stepped in behind her as she looked for a wall torch to ignite. She slowly began to circle to room, lighting all of the torches adorning the walls.

Crono crouched and carefully put the unconscious wizard to the floor. Behind him, Glenn followed suit, quietly groaning from the strain of the weight. Crono was cramped as well, though he'd never admit it. He slumped to the ground and leaned against a pew.

"Now what do we do?" Marle asked, looking at the sleeping form of Magus.

"What else? We wait," Crono said, leaning his head forward and preparing to take a short nap.

"You aren't going to sleep, are you?!" Marle asked, surprised.

"Not really, just a short nap," Crono defended himself, "He's not going to wake up within five minutes, is he?"

"He could wake up any moment, Crono," Lucca chided him, "Remember back at the castle?"

"But I'm tired," Crono whined.

"Yeah, we all are," Marle agreed, "Just wait until we can clear this."

"......Fine, fine," Crono stood back up, slapping his face to reawaken himself. He began to pace around the cathedral, swiping dust off pews as he passed them.

Glenn leaned back against the wall near Magus, drawing his sword and holding it, blade down, loosely in his hands. Always prepared despite his fatigue. Marle sat down and leaned against the wall to the right of Glenn, though she had no intention of going to sleep. Moments later, Lucca sat down as well.

"So Magus, why are you going around killing people?" Crono said suddenly, his tone over-jovial and comical, "Hey Magus, when you tried to kill me, did you do it in a friendly way or were you angry at me?"

Marle buried her head in her hands, groaning as Crono continued to pace about the large room. Lucca glanced at him, shaking her head in disbelief.

"You know, we really don't think you went berzerk on purpose. So, why'd you do it?....Magus, I know you tried to kill us, and vice versa, but we decided to ask you a few civilized questions....You know, with all this casual murdering going on, I just thought we should ask--"

"Shut up, Crono!" Marle suddenly yelled, "Why?! What are you doing?!"

Lucca glanced to the side at Marle, surprised by this outburst. Crono seemed unwavered, however, "Oh nothing. Just wondering outloud how we're going to ask Magus why he's decided that evil is funner than good. We DO have to ask him one way or another."

"He's just passing the time, Marle; don't worry about it," Lucca explained.

"Sorry, I've just been so high strung recently," Marle leaned back against the wall, looking up at the ceiling.

Suddenly, Crono stopped pacing, looking alert, "Did you hear something?"

Marle listened for a moment, hearing nothing. She shook her head, "Probably just the wind."

Crono shook his head back, "No, no, no, no; it was a voice of sorts..."

"Of sorts?" Lucca seemed skeptical now.

"Crono, you're--" Marle began.

Suddenly, Magus jerked bolt upright, yelling in agony. Marle jumped from the sudden movement, hitting her head against the wall. Lucca shied away quickly as Glenn readied his sword at Magus, whom began to writhe once more. Crono jerked his head about from where he was, seeing what was going on. He quickly ran over to look over Magus.

"What do we do?" Marle said, rubbing her head.

"Ask Crono, he was preparing for this," Lucca replied.

Magus curled up, the bruises from the fall being forced upon him, the pain that Magus evaded reaching him instead. Finally, his yelling began to calm down. His eyes reflected a lot of pain as he looked at the people about him.

"Crono?" Marle said quietly.

Crono didn't reply. Marle looked over at him, "Crono! You're on!"

Crono shrugged, showing he didn't know what to do, "Uh....uh..."

However, Magus spoke before he could, "Explain where I am...."

Crono finally broke out of his stutter and replied, "I guess we both have a lot to say."


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