Chrono Trigger Prophecies Chapter 28
It is time...
Magus, sitting in a position of meditation, merely smiled in response to the voice that drifted into his head, giving him the orders he had been awaiting. He stood from his kneeling position, darting his mind out to relight the braziers surrounding him. He was back on his feet seconds later, bathed in a dim red light. He summoned his energy and began giving it form, shape, a means and a use. The spell was begun.
And don't fail me, Magus, Vili continued, Don't...
"Fail you?" Magus laughed and shook his head slowly, "I was given this job by destiny; I owe it everything, not you."
Vili paused to think over this statement, then realized that it didn't matter, Very well.
The spell increased, and the flames seemed to burn brighter, the shadows creeping further into the corners as if pushed by the illumination. Magus bowed his head and stretched out his arms, putting himself into a stance of concentration so that his spell could flow freely. His whole body seemed to glow, though whether it was by some inner magic or the brightening firelight could not be told.
His job was almost finished. Years of training, of using Ozzie, of using others. And now he was here, at the pinnacle of his life, the point in which he would change the world. All the pain, the torment he had endured was now repaid tenfold as the realization that he was about to change the world. He was about to fulfill the final prophecy. The heralding that meant something. It was the end of the world...at his hands.
Magus thought for a moment that he heard voices breach through his concentration, but he shrugged them away. Phantom voices possibly conjured by Janus, he didn't have time for something so petty. They had to be his imagination, nobody would come here; not now, not ever.
Right on time. Vili stated, briefly confusing him.
He opened his eyes reflexively, wondering what Vili was babbling about. The light flooded back to him and he saw four figures slowly walking into the room. He knew these four people. Vili had said they were dead.
Vili, you lied to me! he threw the thought harshly, his hands dropping to a more ready stance.
I told you what was necessary. They still have a use, their dying would cause a lot of problems. Vili responded, Continue with your work, that is your task.
Once again, the thought that Vili was plotting against him flitted through his confused mind. This time, however, he didn't wonder if Vili was doing something behind his back, he knew it. Vili had a larger plan that he kept veiled from others' eyes.
Just complete your task... Vili soothed him, The prophecies must be complete.
To that, Magus agreed. His task was more important than anything else, he couldn't let anything else get in the way. Almost finished.....He drew out the shard of the rainbow shell that he had stolen, the final component. He held it high in the air.
Before him, the group continued to speak, but their voices were muted to his ears. His concentration was fully on the spell. He focused on the rock within his hand, drawing the magic from it and feeding it to the magic, giving the spell the push it needed to accomplish its goal. He noticed as the girl began her spell again, that annoying spell of sleep.
But they would be too late....much too late.
The rainbow shard in his hand was drained of its magic. With no inner force within it, it had become as frail as a clump of dirt. He squeezed his hand around it, causing it to shatter. Dust and pieces showered out of his clenched fist, raining upon the ground with little tinkling noises. Blood, flowing from the cuts the stone had given him, began to appear from between his fingers and palm, draining down his upheld arm. He paid it no mind, the spell was complete.
The girl finished her spell and once more, in his weakened state, he was easily subdued. He stumbled to his knees, but didn't resist. It was over. He fell over onto the ground, unconscious. The fires continued to burn.
It was too late.
"Did we get him?" Crono asked, rushing over towards the fallen enemy. Behind him, the other three trailed slowly.
"He seems out to me," Glenn said from his point, "Maybe he'll stay under for a bit more time this go around."
"It seemed much too easy, this time," Lucca noticed, "Maybe he's weakening."
"I hope so," Marle added, "Now what?"
Crono dropped and slid on his knees the final few feet, his pants grinding with the broken dust of the rainbow stone. He grabbed at Magus, holding him up to examine him. After a second, he nodded, "He's out."
"Good, let's get him to a comfortable place and I'll see what I can do," Lucca said, "What I hope I can do..."
"What would a comfortable place--" Marle began, then stopped as something caught her eye.
Beyond Magus, there was a wavering in the air. A shift or a blur, as if her eyes were playing tricks on her. Like a heat wave billowing from a rock or stone. Then the shifting became more violent and a distant wind could be heard. Marle staggered back, grabbing Crono's arm and pulling him with her. He fell backwards, off balance, and vocally compained about the sudden pull; Marle hushed him quickly.
"What's wrong, Marle?" Lucca demanded, looking in the direction that Marle was staring at.
She noticed the wavering as well. Glenn stepped back warily, glaring at the distortion through unknowing eyes. Crono crawled to his feet, in what appeared to be a state of shock.
"We're too late," Marle mumbled an answer to the question, "He's going to come through."
"Lavos..." Lucca stated the name, "We're going to have to fight him again?"
"We can beat him again," Glenn said assuredly, "All we have to do is drive him back through the portal when he escapes."
"How? We can't exactly push him," Lucca argued.
A faint blue light began peeking from the air as the fabric of reality was slowly pulled open. The small dot soon became a small circle, the diameter growing slowly. There was a slight rumbling at their feet, as the castle shuddered from the energy expending itself within. A small shriek emitted from the hole, almost inaudible.
"It's awake..." Crono stated matter-of-factly.
The hole was now a foot wide.
Janus smiled darkly as the figure materialized, fallen on its hands and knees in fatigue, before him. Magus had returned. Vili stepped around the fallen wizard, examining him for a second. Then he spoke, "Did you complete the spell?"
Magus pulled himself upright, still on his knees, he nodded, "It's done...Now tell me why these people survived."
Janus, who had been preparing for a battle, merely stood in silence; confused at the fact that the two were talking to each other as if he wasn't even there. Vili slowly nodded his head in satisfaction, "Then your task is done."
"Why?" Magus repeated, "You told me they were dead!"
"Why...why..." Vili muttered, then gazed towards Janus, "Janus, I'm sure you would like to hear this as well, wouldn't you?"
Janus nodded, glaring down to Magus for a moment, "I take it you're going to put the cards on the table."
"Quite right," Vili seemed to smile, "It's a very long story, you'll find; but well worth the time. It's the story of my life."
"So you were plotting behind my back, using me!" Magus sneered, the pieces falling together for certainty.
"My friendly Magus...." Vili did smile this time, his form still shrouded in the darkness, and then he laughed briefly, "...I've been using everybody."
"Okay, how much more time?" Crono asked, as the whole widened to ten feet.
The galing wind was now deafening, though it's touch could not be felt. Lavos was making noises that caused the group to shudder, the screeching becoming louder and louder with every second, as if it was fighting the wind.
"I'm giving it a few more minutes," Lucca yelled back, "Just stay prepared."
"I'd better not die this time," Crono remarked, "Or I won't be very happy."
"Everybody?" Janus asked, perplexed, "Exactly how far does that statement go?"
"Centuries--Millennia before this time, a set of prophecies were recorded. Prophecies that were told from a mysterious oracle that appeared before the queen one day...and vanished another. As you may remember, Janus, that prophet was you."
Vili began pacing, circling the two, who listened intently, and he continued, "However, anybody with the knowledge of philosophy can find that prophecies don't come true because they are true, they come true because people think them true and try to make them happen. Prophecies were merely a tool used by so-called prophets to change the world to their liking. Those prophecies that you read off to the queen were quite the interesting batch, though I'm sure you don't remember half of what you said.
"I implanted several thoughts into your mind, and you repeated them. You fortold things that never would have happened. But now because they were thought to be the way things would happen, people reacted. And from those reactions, they began to form a world I wanted. Slowly, one by one, the prophecies were fulfilled. Pieces fit together and soon culminated into what we have here...
"Queen Zeal believed her power not enough to summon Lavos, and was forced to use her daughter. In the end, Schala was lost and Janus had an obsession. That was the first."
After making this point, Vili glanced at Janus, who gritted his teeth but held his ground for now. Vili nodded, then continued to pace.
"Through another prophecy, people dabbled in the wrong magicks, and the mystics were created. To hide this mistake, they hid the creatures upon a floating land, Mt. Woe. Banishing them. These would later be used to subjugate Magus and drive all emotion from him, which would make it easier for him allow hisself to destroy. A third prophecy--along with a few dreams I threw into his head--would lead him to believe he was the center of the apocalypse and the summoner of Lavos.
"These 'writings' took years of endless thought and speculation to lay out; the people's reactions to them had to be calculated perfectly. As you can see, I've been a busy person."
"It's coming out, prepare youselves!" Lucca yelled finally.
A screeching noise erupted from the depths of the large gap in reality, and a shadow seemed to be coming out of it. There was a flash of white and the group covered their eyes, shielding themselves from becoming blind. The screeching continued and the wind howled even louder. Slowly, the blinding light gave way to a hazy blue world, a time between times, a paradox created by Lavos's mere pressence. The group uncovered their eyes as the screeching died down.
Amidst the blue infinite, the braziers continued to burn. Beyond them, the statue still stood, the Masamune held unknown in its outstretched arms. The pentagram, still etched within the ground between the torches, seemed to glow. Sitting atop the symbol was the commanding pressence of Lavos. Magus's body was nowhere to be seen. The maw of Lavos opened, and anther shorter screech emmitted from within. The group slowly separated themselves, surrounding the monster.
"Take it down and do it fast," Crono yelled suddenly, charging the monster.
His sword left the scabbard, as he hurdled into the air, hoping speed would catch Lavos before it had realized its position. He landed by the maw, grasping a spike for balance. Then he hacked at the lid to the opening, knowing that that was the weakness.
Marle waited for a moment to take her shot, hoping that Crono knew what he was doing. Lucca, being a bit more thoughtful, was slowly circling to the right, out of sight of Lavos's eyes, wherever they were. Glenn was forced to sit helplessly, without a sword or other weapon.
Lavos, noticing the pressence of others reacted. The spines along its back rippled, as if a wave. Then it called forth a bout of energy, knocking Crono off. The boy fell backwards, striking the odd ground and losing his sword. He looked up at Lavos as the monster opened its lid to prepare to fight.
Marle drew out her crossbow and quickly took aim. The open maw came into her sights and she pulled the trigger, sending the quarrel racing home. Lavos, seeing the movement, quickly slammed shut the lid and the arrow bounced off of the bony surface.
Lucca slowly paced around, looking for a good shot herself. She watched as Crono staggered up to regain his sword, then the mouth opened again. She fired. This time Lavos was blindsided, caught unaware from the angle. The blast of energy injured it and it screamed in pain. Dozens of tiny darts erupted from its body, flying off into the nothingness around it. Lucca, unable to dodge fast enough, was struck through the shoulder by one, throwing her to the ground. She clutched at the wound in agony, trying to remove it.
"Everything you did, everything you thought you did on your own free will; it was only done at my own will!" Vili continued, "I used Janus to read out the prophecies, I used Magus to summon Lavos. "But there was a deeper plot to this. At the same time, I needed to have you two removed as a threat after I had gained my position. Janus, searching for his sister, weakens himself to the point in which Magus can regain control. They battle this out, weakening each other considerably. I hold Janus back, giving Magus just enough time to fulfill his 'duty' and then I allow them to regain the battle. Now you are both useless, wasted, and the body is mine.
"And you both have manipulated the outside world perfectly."
Crono was up to his feet again and he ran at the monster. His feet made no noise on the missing floor, but he didn't notice the details. He thrust his sword at the closed shield that protected Lavos, the point digging into the crack between the petals of the lid, though stopping much too short for his liking. Lavos screamed in pain once more, the sword having cut into it anyway. It threw open its mouth and blasted Crono with a beam of energy.
The swordsman flew back, struck dead in the chest. He hit the ground and slid, finally coming to a stop, this time out of the battle. Glenn ran over to his form, picking up the sword, "You fought well," he muttered to the unconscious hero.
Marle, enraged, began shooting arrow after arrow at the beast. The quarrels bounced off harmlessly, not enough to pierce the armor. Lucca staggered back to her feet, trying to pull the bolt out of her arm. Blood gushed from the wound, she would have to patch it up quickly. Glenn, holding the sword in a battle stance, prepared to charge the monster.
Then Lavos decided to end it all.
"Why?" Janus asked finally, "If you wanted control, why have you acted like you didn't up to now? Why not just steal it from us?"
Vili was thoughtful for a moment, then continued, "There are three people, but only one host. This does not work. If I stole power, you would wrestle it from me again. The unfortunate part is that I was the first. I was the prince of Zeal. Janus came after the death of my father, Magus appeared from the mystics. For some reason, each of us has the magical strength of a normal person with the skill, which at first baffled me. Then I realized its potential.
"When the other two are dormant, the third has the power of three people, being able to tap from the energies of the other two. Massive amounts of energy are at his disposal. Magus has experienced this at times, if I remember. I positioned the two of you to battle each other, to quarrel your energies away. Eventually, one will die and I will finish the other one--weakened considerably--off, taking the energy for myself.
"And on the outside, with everything positioned, I will combine my super energies and the Masamune to steal the lifeforce of Lavos itself, making me into a god," Vili was now speaking in the future tense, telling what lay in store, "I would be a true god to the people of the world.
"And do you want to know why I let them live?" Vili turned back to Magus, "Even with this power, I myself couldn't simply steal away the energy from so grand a monster. He had to be weakened. Crono and the others, they were the only people in the world who could stand up to Lavos, they were the only ones that could sufficiently weaken him to allow me to draw away its powers without any resistance. It will kill them, if that will satisfy you, but it will be too weak to do much else, and I will simply whisk away the magic.
"I was once the prince of Zeal," Vili reminded them, "before you stole it from me, Janus. But I aim to regain my throne. I will raise the kingdom of Zeal from its aquatic death, and recreate my castle. And from this resurrection I will rule the petty people.
"Life has not been good to me, I decided that for all the life that was wasted from me, I should deserve a bit of the good. I deserve something."
Lavos unleashed its magic. The minds of its opponents were quickly filled with hallucinations of horrifying scenes: some memories, some lies. Marle dropped her crossbow and clutched at her head, screaming as she battled to hold her sanity. Glenn stumbled about, trying to focus, but was unable. He pitched over, falling onto his face, and rolled about trying to battle the visions. Lucca ruthlessly jerked the needle from her arm and threw it to the ground. It was followed by a small spewing of blood, but she didn't notice. She too was struggling with the inner demons.
Insignificant mortals... the thing seemed to mock them.
Then a barage of lightning flooded the area. The energy coursed through all of the people, blasting them and burning them. Their struggles quickly ended as they all lost the will to remain awake. Smoking, they fell to the ground in defeat.
Lavos screamed in triumph.
"I believe that is my cue," Vili said with a smile, then added with a mocking tone to Magus, "I must fulfill my prophecy."
He seemed to waver for a moment, then stopped, "You are both too weak to stop me now. You have been killing each other for weeks now, beating at each other and only succeeding in empowering me. But, I grant you one last wish. Before you Janus, is Magus. And before you Magus, is Janus. Each of you has the perfect opportunity to destroy the being that has caused the other so much pain. I give you this last moment to finish your battle.
And Vili faded from their sight, the two left alone to ponder his final words. It seemed minutes as the two stared at each other in hate, malice formed from their quarrels building within them.
Finally, Magus spoke, "You heard what he said, let's finish this."
The scythe came ringing to his hand as he stood for battle.
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