Chrono Trigger Prophecies Chapter 29
Lavos slowly scanned its surroundings, looking for more signs of life. The lower spines aligning its body scraped noiselessly along the flowing ground below it. The thing was still perplexed over being so suddenly woken up, its hibernation so rudely interrupted by an upstart of a human. These people before it were not responsible, Lavos had reasoned, the antagonist was still missing. Only a strong wizard could call upon that energy. These had barely posed a threat to it.
And the person had run off, why? This had happened to it once before, century upon century ago. And for that Lavos had destroyed civilization. He would do so again. Its spines bristled as it pondered upon its situation, confused still. Yes, punishment was necessary.
Behind it, a shape blurred, then formed into the ether. The figure lightly fell to the ground, kneeling to soften the impact and making no noise to disturb the godlike creature before him. Quietly, he stood up from his kneeling, position, peering at his destiny. Vili slowly turned and walked up to the statue. He glanced up at the Masamune, mystic blade and much more. It sat, sheathed, held horizontal in the two hands--palms up--like an offering to him; or maybe to Lavos. It would certainly be offered to Lavos later.
Behind him, he heard a shuffling noise, a light screeching following; he had been found. Vili sighed, so much for the suspense. He got to work.
"I don't want to fight you," Janus said, turning his back to Magus and slowly walking away, "I don't have time for this."
Magus, angry, ran at Janus and grabbed his shoulder, gathering a grip on the cloak. He roughly spun Janus about, his scythe rose, then cut downward. Instantly, another scythe rose to meet it and with a clang they connected inches above Janus's unflinching face.
"You don't have time for anything but this," Magus responded with a sneer, "En guarde."
Magus twirled his scythe, disengaging it from Janus's with a scraping noise, throwing sparks about. He stepped back, settling himself into a battle stance and prepared for Janus to take the offensive. Hoping.
Janus turned and walked towards the shadows once more. He threw his scythe to the ground, which quickly enveloped it into the blackness. Magus stood perplexed for several moments, trying to understand what was with Janus. This was their last chance, it was all that was left to them; and still he turned away to do nothing. Magus broke himself out of his thoughts and realized Janus was already disappearing into the darkness. The wizard went after him.
"Why do you want to fight?" Janus asked, "Win or lose, it won't prove much. Vili will still win in the end, this victory would be null."
Janus continued to walk away, uncaring that Magus was trying to keep up. He bowed his head, trying to lose himself in thought and ignore the possibility of Magus heeding his words or not.
"Then what do you plan to do?" Magus taunted him, "You can't take on Vili, he's made that clear, and it's obvious that he's right."
"I'll think of a way," Janus responded quickly, "I haven't given up."
They walked on for several more moments, Magus trying to think of a way to coax Janus into this final conflict. He would not fight a person who would not fight back, it wouldn't be so fitting to such a dramatic array of confrontations they had had over the past. Janus would have to arm himself before he attacked again. Janus surprised him by speaking again, "Why did you do it? The world did nothing to you, yet you read a few stories and suddenly you want to destroy the world. I never saw the logic in this."
Magus shook his head, "Don't think you can delve into my mind so easily. My agendas are my own."
Janus thought, for a moment, that he sounded a bit like Vili for a second. Then he shrugged, Vili had been his teacher of sorts. Of course he would pick up his speaking habits. He continued, "You're going to die soon, I would have liked to know your reasons."
"These secrets follow me to my grave, Janus," Magus replied, his voice now menacing, "They are mine and mine alone."
Janus spun about, reacting to the tone of voice. He faced up to Magus, glaring at his dark alter-ego, "Do you realize what you have done? Because of you, everything you know is going to die....or worse."
Magus stared back at Janus, perhaps he had pushed the right button; he pressed harder, "Do I care? What is the point of life anyway? You live, you die. Twenty years from then, nobody will have remembered you anyhow. Any mark you may have left will no longer be respected. You find your whole life was nothing. The only thing left of you is a tombstone marked with a name nobody cares to remember. Even I, the most feared wizard in the history of the world, am but a myth not 200 years after my reign. Do you not find that a bit odd?
"I find life so laughable because I see no difference between it and death."
Janus could think of no response to the outburst. He stood there for a moment, his glare continuing, though it seemed to be faltering. He thought about turning around and continuing his path, but realized it led nowhere. He needed something else, "Simply because the initial view is bleak doesn't mean that there isn't a meaning to life. You have no right to make mankind's decision on such a enormous topic. What you have done is unforgiveable."
"You have just as much a part in this as I," Magus reminded him.
Janus wouldn't be rebuked, however, "My part was played through ignorance. You intended to destroy the world through your acts, whether Vili had done anything or not. Don't try to shift the blame."
"It's too late now, anyway," Magus smiled, shifting his scythe from his shoulder, "Let's finish this."
"How is it too late?" Janus demanded, ignoring the weapon that was dancing about in front of him, "Vili has been manipulating us with his words from day one. How can you believe anything he says now?"
"He said we can't stop him," Magus reminded Janus, "And he was right. Even you know that."
"Even if we strike him together?" Janus asked, the idea entering his mind quickly, "He believes we would duel, then the winner striking at him. He has been leading us around like this forever, now. What if we were to act spontaneous, to pull ourselves out of his web?"
"Why would I even want to destroy Vili?" Magus asked, "My whole life was a lie, everything I did was a part of some conspiracy. I am nothing but a tool. What if I would rather the world was destroyed?"
Janus turned and walked away, flowing into the shadows once more, "Wouldn't you like a little revenge? The world didn't do this to you, Vili did. The world is who you merely punished."
Magus tilted his head at this remark, thinking it over. He had never thought of it in that light, the person who had used him would win unless he did something.
Then something else came to his realization; whether Janus or Vili came first, he was still the last one. He was the true accident. He was created through hate, death, and other negative influences, where did that leave him? He didn't belong to this world, yet he still tried to destroy it...
Magus threw those weak thoughts out of his mind. He was Magus, and that was all that he needed to know. True or not, he was who he was and he had a history, a life. He fit into this world as much as anybody else.
But Vili had used him, treated him like a slave. That was enough for him. He chased after Janus.
"Hi!" Vili shouted to the monster's back, folding his arms in front of him.
Lavos, recognizing the being behind it as the summoner, went into a rage. The shivering quills along its back instantly lashed out, spearing away in all directions. It shrieked as it tried to spin itself around to face the menace and punish him for waking it up.
Vili merely smiled as a sphere of energy wrapped around him. The darts that went in his direction merely smashed into the shield, some breaking, some bouncing, some missing. Several struck and slid along the aerodynaic shield, flying beyond in a tangent. None getting through. Vili dropped the shield as the last darted at him. He dodged to the side, his hand striking like a snake and grabbing it in midair as it passed by. Slowly, he restanced himself, inspecting his prisoner. A souvenir would always be welcome. He calmly stashed it into his cloak.
Lavos continued to slowly spin about to face him, realizing that its attack would not work. Vili backed away reaching the foot of the statue, there he waited. Watching...And for the first time he noticed that Lavos was wounded, bleeding from a gash in its maw. It was smearing a trail of the black liquid as it spun, the tiny legs scraping to push it in a half-circle.
Vili smiled and gazed at the fallen four. They had done such a good job.
Lavos shrieked again, the recently defeated group now forgotten. It had wasted its energies, it's poweful spells, on them; it would have to take the stranger on with more mundane magic. Then it caught sight of the person and shrieked again, the noise frightening and loud. Vili stood his ground.
The beast's mouth opened and closed in anticipation. After him, it would punish the world. This world it had molded through its will. It should not be so demanding of one who had given it all it had.
Then Lavos had completed its spin. It faced Vili with malice, though it didn't appear on the front of its shell, the piece that could be referred to as a face. After a moment, Vili heard a voice inside his head, a telepathic link with the immortal.
Why have you awakened me? It is not your right to defy that which is beyond you.
Vili merely smiled back at the monster, "If it is beyond my power, how have I done this?"
Lavos screeched loudly in anger at the tone this petty human had used against it. Infuriated, it lashed out at Vili in hatred, Infidel! I will destroy you for this!!
The mouth flew open, ready to blow Vili to oblivion. And Vili reacted.
He spun around, grasping the Masamune by the bottom of the sheath. He tore it off of the statue, spinning back around in a reverse direction; the sword still in the sheath, the sheath still in his hands. His cloak flew about him, draping him in a darkness. As he spun, the momentum caused the Masamune to slide out of its scabbard, like a projectile. Vili faced Lavos once more, this time holding the bottom of an empty sheath. The Masamune spun away from him, towards the gaping maw of the monstrosity. White light began to form within the cavern of a mouth, preparing to blast at the human. But before it could condense itself into a weapon, the Masamune slammed, to the hilt, into the surprised monster, shattering the energy.
Lavos shrieked in pain. The energy it had been storing spewed out of the mouth in all directions, the white magic mixing with the black blood. The body quivered violently as it slowly began to die.
Vili merely smiled, dropping the sheath and preparing for his destiny.
"What was that?!" Janus stopped in his tracks, looking about him as a shriek could be heard.
Magus, stepping behind him merely snorted, "I would take it that that is Lavos...dead."
"Great," Janus shook his head, "We've got to act now or its too late."
"Funny, I thought it already was too late," Magus retorted.
Janus ignored him, "I'm going to stop him. If you want to use your last chance to do something for the world, you can follow me."
"You won't win."
"Then help me."
"Vili has won. We can't stop something that's been years in the making, centuries in the forming."
"You coward," Janus shook his head and glared at his opposite, "Fine, I'll do this alone."
Magus merely watched as Janus shimmered into the darkness, attempting to gain contact with Vili. He sat down, pondering over his own thoughts, and waited for the world to end.
Who am I?
Vili gasped as the first bit of energy flowed into him, energy that had been slowly sapped from the planet for eons. It seemed icy cold as it poured into him, being drawn by the Masamune.
Lavos had long since stopped moving, obviously beyond consciousness. It would take more than this to kill it fully, but it was weakened enough that it could no longer fight back. It looked much smaller now, as it sagged onto the floor, the mouth hanging open and dripping the black blood. And dripping its godly energies.
Now it was Vili's turn to taste these powers. His turn to take a hand at shaping the world, molding a society below him. He had the power to do whatever he wanted to; or he soon would when Lavos had gone dry. And afterwards, what could stop him from following Lavos's plan and taking the rest of the planet's energy for himself?
The he felt a slight and subtle resistance building. He checked the flow for a second, finding that it wasn't Lavos. It was someone else, within. Quicky, his mind traced the distraction as his concentration remained on the Masamune. Soon, he found the problem.
Janus drew his meager energy, pounding at Vili's will. Hopefully, he could have enough surprise on his side and kill his spell, possibly even cause a mental backfire and destroy the mind. It would kill him, too, but it would save the world.
He was still angry that Magus hadn't come with him, but there was little he could do. The only way to force the dark wizard would be to fight, and that was what Magus wanted in the long run.
Damn you, Magus, Janus cursed; then decided to vent his frustrations onto Vili.
Once again, he pounded his magic, his dwindling powers, into the being he hated. But Vili seemed to be holding, Janus was too weak.
Then Vili was before him, smiling darkly at the false prophet. They both faced each other, floating in the darkness that was the mind's creation. Janus prepared to use his magic directly at the figure before him, but Vili stopped him, holding his hand out in a stop gesture.
"Janus...." Vili's smile widened, "So you defeated Magus after all."
Janus glowered at the other, but made no response. Let Vili think what he wanted. He built his energy again, trying to attack the person once more. And once more, Vili sapped the magic for his own, leaving Janus weakened.
"I'm afraid I don't have time to congratulate you for this stunning victory at the moment, my mind is elsewhere right now," Vili gave a short laugh at this, then continued, "I'd prefer if you take a seat and wait for me."
Janus felt as something seemed to lash at him, grabbing at him, pulling him. He struggled against this energy, which was easily identified as the power of Lavos.
"...I'll only be a minute," Vili finished, then disappeared with a gesture.
The gesture sent a blast of invisible energy plummetting into the trapped Janus, and he was sent reeling back into the abyss. He didn't even bother to yell, it was pointless.
Magus looked up as Janus dropped before him. The figure impacted soundlessly with the ground, and was still. It was obvious that Vili had not found the attack funny. Magus turned away, not wanting to get involved.
Behind him, Janus groaned for a moment, trying to rise, but failing. Magus ignored this, falling back into his disturbed thoughts.
Who are you?
I am Magus. he responded finally.
Magus was created by somebody else, the voice reasoned, Magus is a slave to Vili; who are you?
To this Magus had no response. His conscience continued to pound at him, You are a mistake to the world, created by a tyrant who wanted to use you merely to summon a power great enough to quench his thirst.
I am Magus. he repeated, I made myself.
You are a puppet to the others, just a tool to use for their power. A lackey that merely thinks he is great.
Then who am I? What is my true purpose?
That is for you to decide. You were created for one true purpose, but that has already been concluded. Without it, you no longer have a purpose.
Then I will give myself a purpose, Magus stood angrily, shoving any response from his mind, he didn't want to deal with his conscience any longer, Beware...
Magus faded into the blackness, chasing after Vili himself. To undo his wrong, that was his new purpose.
In his wake, Janus continued to stir, trying to regain himself. He had been weakened much too far by Vili to do anything. However, he did manage to smile as Magus disappeared.
Long ago, when this had begun, Magus had created thoughts in Janus's head, manipulating him in a psychological manner.
Now it was Janus's turn. He sent one last thought to Magus, then slumped down hoping that the dark wizard could succeed.
Choose your purpose wisely...
Time to fix my mistake.
Magus flew through the infinite darkness, towards his final destination. He didn't know what would result from this, but he was tired of bein used. His whole life had been his own, and now he finds that he was just following a path. A path that he didn't want to.
Vili must not win...
He reached a point in the mind where Lavos's energies were being projected, being collected. This would be the right place. Vili had not detected him yet, thankfully, and he had plenty of time for mischief.
All great plans have flaws, Vili, here's yours.
He grasped onto the energy, blocking the flow, collecting it for himself. He began storing the magic, the dark energy, saving it for the right moment. The moment of his revenge.
Vili didn't notice the problem at first, his concentration was fully placed on Lavos. To him, Magus had been destroyed by Janus, and Janus defeated by him. No threat remained.
But something did remain...
Soon he noticed the leech, someone had been drawing from his energy reserves. He quickly searched for the antagonist, tracing once again.
Magus was alive. Vili realized instantly that he had just made a small mistake. He had become overconfident and overlooked the dim possibilities. He hastily drifted his mind towards Magus, intent on cutting him off before he became too powerful. That would be disastrous.
Magus smiled at the figure that appeared before him.
"Hello, Vili," the dark wizard said gaily, "You've been quite nice sharing this with me."
"This isn't your right," Vili interrupted angrily, "Cease this or I will destroy you."
"This time....." Magus began, but his voice died down.
"This time...what?" Vili asked, as he began summoning the energies required to permanently finish off Magus.
"This time, you fell into my trap," Magus replied, his smile never fading, "You are much too late."
Vili looked confused for a brief moment, then his face dropped in realization.
Magus released the energy; though not at Vili. He merely withdrew his hold on the 'knot' he had tied into the flow. And like a water hose that had been unclamped, the magic flowed much too quickly into the mind.
Vili released his powers, blasting at Magus with his full will. The energies wrapped about the still smiling wizard, smothering him with their power. Magus bowed his head, his fate already set. Slowly, he began to disintigrate, his branch of the mind being destroyed. The magic from Lavos flowed through him, destroying him and overlapping with Vili's spell.
Vili, slowly turned and left, attempting to return to control the flow of Lavos's energy. But it was too late. The magic had struck the mind, overflowing it with power. The sudden force threw the mind into a concussion.
Vili faded and shimmered, then dropped.
The white magic stifled as it drew out of the Masamune briefly, as if the recipient had ceased the withdrawal. The Masamune shuddered under the shift for a moment, then began to vibrate violently.
Before Lavos, Vili slumped over onto his knees, the magic rendering the body unconscious, in a coma. Vili finally fell over, the impact making no noise on the wavery floor. The flow instantly died.
After a moment, the Masamune slid out of the wound it had inflicted and dropped. Below it, the floor faded away to be replaced by the flagstone of Magus's castle. It clattered on the solid ground, all alone.
Lavos had faded back to where he had been summoned.
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