Chrono Trigger Prophecies Chapter 24
The Truth is Out
"Magus, what's going on?" Lucca finally asked.
"Janus...." Janus said quietly.
"Huh? But I thought you were the--" Marle began, confused.
"No!" Janus was a little more forceful this time, "CALL...me Janus."
Marle realized she had misunderstood and quickly shook her head, "Oh!"
"Sorry," Lucca continued, "Janus, what's going on?"
The group stared at Janus, hoping that he wasn't playing mind games with them. Marle seemed particularly upset, "You said to call you Janus!"
"Wait," Crono said, breaking into her rant; he stepped towards the sitting wizard, "Do you mean 'Magus is the problem?'"
Janus nodded slowly, "He is...Yes."
"Then who's Magus?" Lucca cut in, "I'd thought you were the same person; I mean, you looked very much alike to me."
"He is my other half," Janus answered, "My dark half."
Glenn started to speak up from his spot against the wall, but Janus continued, "No, a third of myself. There's Vili, too."
"What are you talking about? Your thirds?" Lucca kneeled down and looked Janus in the eye, calm now like she had seen in the castle, "What do you mean?"
Janus continued, seeming to rant now, "Magus wants to reattempt to summon Lavos. He's following a false prophecy."
"Janus," Lucca said calmly, trying to bring him back to them, "Janus, what about your 'thirds?'"
Janus shook his head, still looking very fatigued, "He said personas..."
Janus, I'm coming for you!
Janus's head whipped around quickly at the voice, looking for the source, "Magus!?"
Then the pain hit him as Magus attacked. Janus grabbed his temple with both hands as he began to yell. He kicked out, trying to move himself, though it would do little good. The group backed away quickly, Glenn readying his sword just in case. Janus reached behind himself and grabbed ahold of the armrest of the pew he was pushing against and attempted to pull himself up.
"What's going on, Janus!?" Marle yelled, keeping her distance.
Janus let out another yell, not replying to her. He clenched his eyes shut as he strained against the pain, but it only increased. Lucca looked into his eyes once more to see them shift from the calm to something that scared her. Then they shifted back. Janus's yelling slowly died down and he was breathing heavily. It was then that Lucca understood what was happening.
Janus managed to put himself into a standing position. He seemed to have composed himself a little from the surprise, but he was still troubled. The pain remained in him, Magus still struggling.
You're not strong enough, Janus...
The group watched warily, all but Lucca still unsure of what was going on. She stared at him, wondering how she would be able to fix this, something that only the future would hold an answer for. Then Janus blinked, his eyes shifting back to the hardness and hate in that brief second. Lucca took a step back reflexively.
"Marle, put him to sleep...now..." Lucca said, nuding the girl beside her.
"Why? He looks okay to me," Marle argued.
Lucca shook her arm, "He's NOT okay! Remember the forest?"
That was enough to get Marle's attention, and she hastily began to cast the magic. However, she had barely begun when she was forcefully thrown back into the air. The magical force pinned her against the wall hard, nearly cracking the stone from the impact. Instantly Glenn was armed as he advanced on Magus. The wizard realized he wouldn't be able to win unarmed, quickly began to magically alter his position to outside the cathedral.
He released his earlier will and Marle fell off of the wall to land in a pile. Crono ran over to help her, yelling over his shoulder, "Janus! What's going on with you?!"
"This is Magus," Lucca said, knowing that the other 'persona' had been released, she gave a quick back to the others, "Marle, can you get him to sleep?!"
"Maybe," Marle mumbled, ignoring the pain in her back. She focused again, calling on the energies for her spell.
Glenn advanced on Magus, who backed away trying to gather the magic needed. Glenn attacked, swinging the sword at Magus's stomach. However, the wizard backed out of range, then jumped forward, grabbing Glenn's arm and twisting him around to face away. Then Magus shoved him hard, throwing him sprawling to the ground.
"Glenn, don't kill him!" Crono reminded the frog.
Glenn glared at Crono, wanting to give a biting reply, but kept quiet. He picked himself back up, preparing to delay Magus again.
"Got it," Marle said from behind him.
Then they watched as Magus, too weak to resist, stumble and fall to the ground, sound asleep. Crono stared at the fallen form for a moment, then casually remarked, "We're lucky Janus isn't at full strength or we'd never be able to put him to sleep."
"He stated something about reattempting to raise Lavos," Glenn mused, "Perhaps that was why he was after the rainbow shell."
Crono just nodded, "I won't even bother trying to understand this."
Marle nodded, then stood up, "Well what do we do now?"
"Keep an eye on him," Lucca said, looking away from the slumbering form, "I'm going to be gone for a week or more, "Make sure he doesn't wake up, Janus or Magus, keep him asleep."
"What are you doing?" Crono asked, glancing in her direction curiously.
"I'm going to the future," Lucca explained, beginning to step towards the door, "I need to research what's wrong with him, and I doubt this time has anything that would help in their libraries."
"What's wrong with him?" Crono asked, "If you seem to know what's going on, could you explain before you leave?"
Lucca stopped and shook her head, "Not enough time...This is Janus' mind we're talking about, do you want to risk it?"
Crono sighed, taking a look back at the unconscious form below him. He finally shook his head, "No, I guess you'll have to hurry."
"But here," Lucca pulled something out of her pocket, tossing it to Crono. Crono caught it deftly and examined it as she explained, "If you have an emergency and need me, just press that button and it will make my end of it beep."
Crono looked for the button, turning the object around in his hands. After he found it, he gave it a push. Something in Lucca's clothing gave off a dull beep.
"What is it?" Crono asked, putting the thing away.
"Just something," Lucca replied, walking back towards the door, "I'll be back."
"Will whatever you're looking for be able to help him?" Marle asked, making Lucca stop once more.
"You'll see in a week or so," Lucca replied, "But it'll definitely help us, that's for sure."
"Definitely, or hopefully?" Crono asked, always an optimist.
"We'll see in a week or so," Lucca repeated, smiling darkly; she turned and went out the door, heading to a gate that would lead to the future. Where she would find her 'cure.'
"They can't help you Janus," Magus spoke, almost whispering to the suffering form huddled in the darkness, "You're all alone."
"This is my body, you can't steal it from me like this," Janus replied, looking around the void but not spotting his opponent, " It's MINE!"
"I'll take what I will," Magus replied, "I have every right to it as you, more so in actuality."
"You have NO right to the host, you came second through a blunder!" Janus stood up, continuing his scan.
"The prophecies give me my right," Magus corrected him, "You were a mistake, and I was sent to replace that mistake."
"The prophecies are false, you stupid shadow!" Janus yelled hoarsely, spinning around and around slowly, keeping an eye out for Magus.
"Not so, the one who wrote them was a true prophet, a true seer."
"You still don't understand, do you?!" Janus made a fist with his right hand and swung it into the air, "You misread the prophecies!"
"You underestimate me--" Magus retorted.
"You misread the date, you misread the source, you misread the whole damn thing!"
"You know nothing of this prophecy, false prophet," Magus scoffed.
"I created that prophecy!"
Janus yelled this last bit with every strength of his voice, using his manipulation to amplify it. The noise carried loudly, and echoed for several seconds afterwards. In its wake lay silence. Magus was contemplating this.
Finally a reply came, "You lie..."
"Try me," Janus replied, realizing he had the upper hand for once, "Your whole point of existence is pointless; your life, THAT is the lie."
Janus was feeling the surge of self esteem flowing through him as he realized he was in control, for once he was holding reign. He smiled, preparing to tell Magus more of his lie of a life.
Then magic grasped ahold of his wrists and ankles, pulling at him and throwing him backwards into the void. He hit something hard and turned his head to find himself against a wall. He looked back before him to find that he was in a room.
It was a small cubic room, with walls of grey stone. Above and below him lay the blackness. However, he focused most of his attention at the figure before him, Magus. He pushed back against the magical shackles with his mind, breaking himself free. Janus dropped to the ground, crouching and then standing to face Magus with a dark look.
"This time, we do it my way," Magus simply spoke.
The dark wizard raised his hand palm up and a ball of fire erupted into it. Janus drew his cloak about him, preparing his magic as well. The two stared at each other, watching, waiting for a first move.
Magus made the first move. Without a single motion, the ball of fire shot out of his hand, enlarging as he fed it magic. Immediately, Janus formed a shield around himself. The shield caught the fire, splitting the attack to miss. Janus quickly summoned fire himself, pointing at Magus. A bolt of fire, arm thin, shot out of his hand and struck at Magus.
The dark wizard ducked the blast, rolling forward, his cloak swishing about behind him. The bolt hit the far wall, though it caused no visible damage. As he finished his roll, he sent a bolt of lightning striking at Janus. Janus was unable to avoid this blast and was hurtled back against the wall. He struck the wall and rebounded off, falling onto his chest. Quickly, he stood, preparing to defend himself.
Magus was yet again gone. As were the walls. Janus found himself standing alone in the blackness once more. Where was Magus?
Janus watched and waited for a minute, but Magus didn't return. He had left again. A realization hit Janus moments later, Magus was merely weakening him. And it was working. Soon, he wouldn't be strong enough to defend himself.
Soon, Magus could very well win...
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