Chrono Trigger Prophecies Chapter 25
The Plot Within
Janus was sitting in the emptiness, simply awaiting Magus' next strike. He would fight for as long as he could, for even if Magus was to win, he wouldn't do so without a price. If he would take control, then he would have little power left to do anything with that control. He didn't understand what was going on in the outside world. Janus hoped that they had understood his problem, Lucca seemed to have a glimpse...but she was the smart one.
If she saw through this, would she be smart enough to help him? Could he avoid his doom?
Once again, Janus ignored the voice. He didn't have time for mind games. He bowed his head and began meditating, restructuring his unstable mind. How was it that Magus didn't tire?
Magus must be tiring as well, but Janus didn't know how much. He also had Vili on his side, which meant that he had something to fall back on if he were to be beaten. Janus felt once again that fighting was hopeless, but he ruthlessly shook it out of his head. He must fight.
Janus....don't ignore me.
Janus raised his head this time, realizing that it was not Magus who spoke to him but the other, "Vili."
"You remember," the voice seemed surprised.
"Leave me alone," Janus bowed his head once more.
"You haven't even heard what I had to say, Janus," the voice taunted, "Be fair."
Something flashed against his closed eyelids, causing Janus to open them. Before him was a burning flame, a bonfire of sorts. Standing, silouetted against it, was a figure behind it. Slowly, he stood, staring intently at the figure. The silouette seemed to nod at Janus as he did so, but not moving.
"You have nothing to say but malice and false deals anyway," Janus replied.
"Don't be so cold, you're starting to resemble Magus," Vili retorted calmly, "Besides, this is different."
"Of course it's different," Janus shrugged, "You can't fool me with the same trick twice, after all."
"Magus has grown weak, my friend," Vili bowed his head, "You've won. I've decided to choose you as the host."
"Me?" Janus snorted in contempt, "So you switch sides as easily as that?"
"Easily? If I remember, you spent the longest time trying to convert me," Vili spoke in a mocking tone, "I choose who would be strongest to host the body, honor be damned."
Janus began slowly pacing around the flame before him, trying not to look suspicious in his movements, "How would you help me?"
Vili gave a brief laugh, "Magus is in hiding, trying to heal his scars. To attack him now would give you the advantage...a big enough advantage to possibly end this once and for all. His battle with the toad has been very taxing on him, more so than he has been to you."
The flame died away with not even a flicker, blanketing the world with darkness. Janus stopped his pacing and looked around warily, waiting for the next move. A voice drifted from Vili's position, clearly audible, "He will attempt to retake control. He has a one track mind, he does; he still has a job to do."
"Doesn't he realize that the prophecies are false?"
"No," Vili responded, "Nor does he want to. To fulfill the instructions set upon him is his one goal in life, even if that were to destroy him. Which it will. It will destroy everything."
"....And you helped him do this," Janus said accusingly, "So much for self-preservation."
"My agenda is my own, don't try to understand it," the bodiless voice responded, "Just listen to your instincts: Stop him and live, don't and you--and everyone else you know--will die."
"My instincts tell me your agenda is unpleasant," Janus responded coldly.
"Not as unpleasant as other options...."
Janus waited for more, but nothing came. Vili had disappeared again. Janus stepped forward, towards the spot where Vili had last been. There was nobody there. He spun about, wondering what to do next. He was alone again.
"So, what should we do for a whole week?" Crono said, moments after Lucca had disappeared.
"I don't know," Marle shrugged, "Umm, nothing?"
Crono slumped against the wall, sliding down to a sitting position, "Boring, boring, boring," he sighed, "Why don't we tie him up, toss him in the basement, and go spend the week doing something other than just sitting around."
"Crono..." Marle sighed, "Just be bored for now."
"Sorry, just an idea," Crono assured her.
Janus slowly stepped along the line of fire, wary of the shadow before him, the figure with no face to match. Vili seemed to ignore his curiosity, as he always did. Janus didn't know why the enigma would be so intent on remaining a secret to others, that in itself was also an enigma. A man of puzzles...
Vili stopped before him suddenly, tilting his head to listen. Janus took another step, not wanting to slow down, but Vili held out his hand in a motion to stop. Janus sighed and ceased movement. He stared at the back of Vili for a moment, then spoke, "What's going on?"
Vili's hand dropped and he continued walking, "He's trying to regain control."
Glenn began pacing over Magus, keeping an eye on him. A self made sentry. He studied the wizard, as if waiting for when he would awaken. His hand was ever near his sheathed sword, prepared for a quick strike if things went bad.
"Are you going to do that all week?" Crono asked.
Glenn turned briefly to Crono, shaking his head, "No, still twould be best that I keep an eye on him as much as possible."
"Marle just put him to sleep, Glenn," Crono assured him, "He'll be out for hours at least."
Glenn shook his head again, "I don't intend to toy with the most powerful man around, do you?"
Crono sighed, but remained quiet. He slumped back against the wall, as if he planned on falling asleep. Marle nodded and added, "Glenn's right. You can't trust something as finicky as magic."
Behind Glenn, an eye snapped open to look about. It roved up to spot the frog before him, then darted to the side to see the other two. Magus smiled.
Like a bolt of lightning, he was up to his feet and racing towards the frog, whose back was still turned. His cloak swirled about him like a mask, hiding him for a moment, then he broke out of it as he reached out to grab Glenn.
Crono saw what was happening and quickly jumped to his feet to draw his sword. Glenn, noticing the sudden movement, spun about as he felt a hand grab his arm. Before he could draw the Masamune, he was hefted into the air and hurled. He waved his hands about helplessly as he hurtled towards the target, Marle. Nadia was too busy bringing up enough energy for her magic to put Magus to sleep, she didn't even see it coming. Glenn struck her, causing her to reel back and strike her head against the wall, Glenn's momentum adding to the impact. They both rebounded off of the wall, Marle piling on top of Glenn, unconscious.
Crono charged Magus, but before he could make two steps, Magus had made a waving gesture and sent the boy hurtling backwards to hit the wall. Grunting in pain, he dropped his sword and fell over onto his knees.
Glenn pushed Marle off of him, making sure not to injure her any more than she already was, and staggered to his feet. Magus turned for him and made a gesture.
Crono, hastily looked around and found his sword. Groggily, he reached for it, but, at Magus's command, it darted out of his reach, flying off to the left. His head turned quickly following its flight path.
Glenn reached to draw his sword before Magus was upon him. However, a motion drew his attention for a moment. He quickly turned his head to see a sword darting towards him like a launched arrow. Glenn tried to avoid the weapon, quickly ducking to the side. However, it struck, cutting him at the hip. His hand that had been groping to draw his own sword felt air and he quickly looked down. Crono's sword had cut off his sheath, Masamune and all.
Crono staggered to his feet and began running towards Magus, hoping he could get to him before he began attacking Glenn. Then he dived to the ground as his sword tried to return to him, in a less conventional manner. The blade soared over his head, slicing and embedding itself into one of the pews. Splinters of wood erupted from the impact, showering Crono with bits and chunks of wood.
Glenn darted to the ground to pick up and draw his sword, but it was suddenly out of his reach, and into Magus's. The wizard coldly examined the mystic blade, seeming to smile at the new posession he had. Then his eyes wandered back to Glenn, who slowly stood back up.
"What good will your magic sword do now?" Magus tilted his head, "What are you without this sword...without that magic girl behind you?"
Before Glenn could respond, Magus unleashed his will, blasting the frog with his magic. Glenn was off of his feet once more, then he struck the wall. He heard the stone wall behind him crack under the impact, then the force of the impact struck him and his sight went blurry. Then he lost consciousness.
Crono jumped to his feet, forgetting his sword, and racing towards Magus. He watched as Glenn slid off of the crumbling wall, obviously out cold. Marle, too, was incapacitated. Magus turned to face him and Crono yelled at the wizard. He jumped up on the shoulder of a pew and pounced at Magus.
Then Magus examined the Masamune in his hand, quickly; though he couldn't touch the sword for fear of the consequences, the sheath was still there. Still a weapon...
He reached out and used his superior reach to beat Crono to the punch. His hand grasped about the front of Crono's tunic, halting his movement. The two gazed at each other for a brief moment, then Magus brought the Masamune around, holding it by the bottom of the sheath. The hilt struck Crono hard across the head, blanketing his sight with darkness. He crumpled in Magus's hand.
It was over. Magus smiled briefly, then dropped the body to the ground. Calmly, he turned from the carnage and towards the door that led outside. He continued to hold the Masamune, it could be useful later.
However, he stopped at the entrance, looking up to the sky. It's finished, Magus.
Moments later, a return was brought to his head, Did you kill them?
The personality known as Vili turned back to the cathedral, examining the three still-breathing figures, ...Yes, they're dead. How are you doing leading Janus about?
All is good, Magus replied, but I think it best that you retake your position, and me mine.
This is the second time I've had to save you, Magus Vili rebuked the dark one, If I didn't know any better, I would think you aren't worthy of your task...
Things happen, Magus seemed to shrug it off, The sword...
The sword is no longer a problem, Vili reminded him, No more mistakes. I will return to the castle, then we shall resume original tasks.
Vili cancelled contact and left the cathedral, tucking the sword into his cloak. About him, the sky began to darken, nightfall was approaching. No matter to him. Vili had lived in the darkness of the mind all of his life.
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