Chrono Trigger Prophecies Chapter 7

One Last Quest

By Jerm

Janus finally reached the beach where the boat had landed. He wasn't surprised when he found the beach empty, however.

He was sweating profusely from the stress he was undergoing, both physically and mentally. Someone was playing games with him, and he had a very good guess as to who was the manipulator.

He continued to sprint to the beach, despite the lack of a boat and simply jumped when he reached the wave line. Tuning his magic, he pulled himself into the air and began to fly toward the gate, where he would return to his own time.

But before he had made it very far, there was a wrenching in the air, like a heavy, brief gust of wind. He nearly lost control as he began gyrating in the air, trying to rekindle his magic. The wind abruptly stopped and he found himself falling towards the freezing waters. He quickly wrapped his cloak around him as a shield.

Then he struck the water hard. There was a loud smack from the impact as water was displaced grudgingly. The breath was knocked out of him in a rush and several bruises were formed. The cold water quickly caught ahold of him, numbing the pain of the impact he couldn't feel anyhow. He quickly threw his cape away and fluttered madly to get back to the surface before he involuntarily inhaled to replace the breath that had been knocked out of him.

He broke the surface with a wheezing gasp, his face already turning blue. Water in his hair quickly turned to ice from the freezing winds and he felt something pinching on his face, knowing that the water was freezing there too.

When his breathing had returned to something close to normal, he gave a quick glance back at the island to see what had caused the burst of air. The island wasn't there.

Maybe I got turned around from the impact, Janus thought reassuringly, sluggishly spinning around in the water.

But he was alone in the ocean. Nothing around him all the way to the horizons. The island had disappeared. Nothing at all remained.

Janus slapped the water, then tried once again to gather his magic. He slowly rose from the water, giving his head a quick shake to throw some of the ice out. When he was out, he gave a shuddering sigh and finally turned to continue to his destination.

What's going on?

* * * * *

Janus stormed into the basement of his castle, walking straight to the center of the braziers and setting them alight with his own magic. The flames danced happily, stinging his eyes for a moment, but he didn't care. He looked around him briefly, looking for the stranger.

"I'm back, where are you?!" he yelled, much louder than necessary.

Welcome back, Magus.

Janus ignored the false name, but replied to the voice, "Shut up, Ozzie! I want nothing to do with your pointless ramblings. I've had enough of this!"

"Quite so."

Janus spun to the voice of the stranger, but there was nobody around him. He quickly threw his head about, trying to find the voice's owner. No one was in the room.

"Show yourself!" he finally yelled, "I am tired of talking to phantoms!"

Somebody laughed in the distance, a short chuckle. He couldn't tell who it was, but was fairly certain that it was the stranger. The chuckle ended, and the voice returned, "Out of the question. You seem to be out of control at the moment. I'll take my chances here."

"I've had enough of these games! Show yourself and tell me what you're doing; tell me why you're doing this!" Janus continued to pivot around, though he knew he wouldn't find the person, he was nearing hysterics.

"You are full of questions, aren't you?" the voice replied sarcastically.

"And you are full of distrust," Janus shot back.

"I have reasons."

Janus shook his head, giving a short and quiet bark of laughter, "And I don't?"

"Give me the book and I will give you your final assignment. Then answers will be found." the voice sounded testy now.

Janus reached under his cloak for it, then remembered that he had dropped it back at Zeal. He slowly dropped his hand and peered darkly into the area around him, "I seem to have dropped it."

There was silence for a moment, the stranger was obviously thinking things over. Finally it spoke again, "No bother...Just accept your final quest, and you will have what you want."

"And what will you get out of this?" Janus replied.

"What has been split, will be reunited."

Janus flinched. He had heard the same thing from the voices in Zeal. They wanted to reunite him with his sister. But there was no ulterior motive that he could discern at the moment. The figure and the voices were tied together.

"You simply wish to reunite us, me and Schala? If you wanted that so badly, then you wouldn't be sending me on these pointless quests. I want to know what is going on! I'm being haunted by ghosts and voices! I know you are behind this and I want my answers!"

Janus sent out a scan with his mind, prying for the figure. Caught off guard, the stranger wasn't able to throw him away until the last second. Still unable to get information, Janus had at least been able to gather his location.

He started to run that way, but struck a barrier. He rebounded off of the invisible wall, falling onto the ground. He slowly started to stand back up, but suddenly something pressed him to the ground; another barrier. Janus struggled against it, but it was too heavy.

"You will get your answers when you complete what I have assigned to you," the voice was still without an owner and Janus couldn't seem to gather his magic to search again, "Perform this task and get your sister. That easy."

The pressure increased a bit, "Do you accept?"

Janus pushed futilely against the barrier for another moment, then sank back to the ground. It was pointless to try, he had drained a lot of his magic from other stuff as it was, "I accept. But this is the last."

"Good. . .Very good. As for your job, climb to Denadoro Peak and bring me a rock," it was another stupid quest, "And this is the last. Trust me."

Trust was the last thing on Janus' mind.

The pressure holding Janus down disappeared and he was quickly to his feet. He calmly dusted himself off, looking around him. Finally, he spoke, "Who are you? Answer me that. You owe me a name at the very least."

"As of two years ago, I have no name. But you may call me Vili for now."

Then the flames went out.

"Vili. . ." Janus repeated thoughtfully.

He turned and left the castle.

* * * * *

"Is he still unconscious?"

"Yeah, it's starting to look pretty bleak."

"Let's keep trying. I don't want this to get worse."

"Me either. This is the best I can do for now, though."


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