Chrono Trigger Prophecies Chapter 3

Paradise Lost

By Jerm

Where would I find Zeal's capital? Janus thought to himself as he left his castle, It sank into the ocean years ago.

He stepped out through the giant double doors, then stopped and leaned against the castle wall, deep in thought. "Where did it crash?" he whispered to himself.

"Here lies Zeal. All of its glory and riches, at the bottom of the sea. . ."

Janus ignored the voice, merely sighing at its return. He didn't have time for this. He had to think out where the floating island might have landed, where it would have sunk. He closed his eyes to help himself think, but nothing came. He couldn't remember the location.

Then another thought struck him. He didn't know where it was, but someone else might. The icy waters were dangerous, but there were still fishermen out there. Surely one would have found the deathbed of the island. As much as he hated to talk to others, he admitted that this was his best chance.

But why are you doing this? he asked himself.

Janus didn't know what was with him, he was doing so much on the simple hope that could bring him back his sister. It was a small chance, he didn't even know who the stranger was. It was too strange to be any bit of a coincidence. The person had a reason to be doing this.

But only through patience would he find the identity of this mystery.

Janus pushed himself off of the wall and began to hover off of the ground. It was time to get back to the gate and head to Zeal.

As he began to fly across the distance, however, he realized something else. The hallucinations were coinciding with the appearance of the stranger as well. Janus had at first thought that they were merely memories drudged up from seeing familiar places for the first time in a while. Memories drudged from a tired mind.

But that wasn't the case. Janus was now sure that the phantom had a thing to do with these, too. However, a motive for this was still missing. Another mystery to solve. Janus closed his mind to the troubling thoughts and concentrated on the task at hand.

The best way to figure things out would be to do as the person said. As long as the requests were reasonable, Janus felt he should at least give it a try.

* * * * *

"Can't say I've heard where it would be."

Janus nodded at the person, sighing at yet another dead end. He had asked well over a dozen fishermen now, and not a one even had a clue. Janus began to turn away from the person, but the man continued to speak, "If I may, would I be able to recommend an inn or something? You look half dead and half asleep. How long have you been awake? Two days straight?"

Janus fought down the urge to sneer at the man, "I'm okay for now. Would you know of another person who might even have a decent clue as to where I can find this? It's important."

"I'd say it's important, considering what you're doing to yourself to find it," the man smiled a bit, but shook his head, "None that I know of. But don't worry, there're about fifty of us docked up right now, surely one of them does."

Janus took a deep breath, then released. This was going to be a long day. Maybe he should--

"I can help you."

Janus' thoughts stopped instantly and he quickly turned around to face the owner of the voice. Excitement turned into shock as he realized who was standing in front of him now.

The person had brown hair, shoulder length, which partially concealed a band around his head. Attached to the band was a circle of cloth, which covered one eye as an eyepatch. He was dressed in rags, but they seemed familiar in a way, almost regal. This was. . .

"Dalton?!" Janus prepared to gather his energies for a spell, preparing for a fight.

The man's one eye widen when he realized what was happening. His hands came up defensively and he started to back away, "No, no, no! I'm not Dalton! The name's Antold!"

Janus continued to glare at the figure, still holding his magic in reserve, wondering what sort of trick this was. The person was visibly shaken. The wizard realized that this was not who he had once thought. He had made a mistake. Finally, Janus dropped his spell and eyed the person, wondering at the near identicalness.

"Sheez, I try to help and you try to kill me." Antold continued, when he realized that the other wasn't going to follow through on his attack.

Janus ignored the remark, "What do you want. . .What did you say earlier, I mean?"

"I said. . .uhh. . .I forgot. . .Oh yeah, I said that I could help you," Antold nodded his head, "I know where the Zeal castle is."

Janus inwardly smiled a bit, maybe this would turn out to be a good lead, "Where is it?"

"I can't say it out in public, man, it's a secret!" Antold scolded Janus, "But I'll show you."

"Show me?" Janus' eyes widened a bit, "How much would this trip cost?"

"Oh, it's free. Just follow me to my boat and I'll get everything ready to set sail, we'll leave tomorrow morning," Antold was talking quite fast, in a rush; Janus was having trouble hearing what he said.

The man turned and began to walk away, just as fast as he spoke. Janus was able to keep pace, but was hard pressed. Antold continued to talk, rambling about nonsensical stuff that Janus could care less about. He tuned the man out and didn't realize when Antold asked him a question.

"Hey, are you still there?" Antold asked curiously, stopping to face the thoughtful Janus, "What's your name?"

Janus shook his head, "It's Magu--Janus," why would he say Magus?

"Janus, huh? Neat, I'm Antold," the person turned away, not caring that Janus had already heard his name, and began to continue toward his boat.

The wizard sighed, of all his luck, he had to set sail with an imbecile. Tomorrow morning.

* * * * *

"Is he okay?" asked a female voice.

"I'm not sure, he's not breathing too well," replied another.

The two figures were huddled over a heavily blanketed person, who was asleep on the floor. It was inside of a small hut, a fire burning off to the side.

"How long will he be like this?" the first asked.

"I don't know," the second seemed to sigh at the barrage of questions, but kept a cool head, "Comas can last quite a long while."

The tent flap at the front of the hut was pushed aside and a male walked inside. He started to walk forward, but the fire suddenly died away, throwing everything into darkness.

* * * * *

"Janus! Guess what time it is?!"

Janus opened his eyes, awakening to the sound of his name being called and to the sound of someone beating on his door. Looking at the window, he could see that it was morning.

He slowly got out of his cot and prepared for the voyage to the ruins of Zeal.


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