Tides Of Chaos Chapter 8
By John Donahue
Magus stepped from the shadows, with a woman beside him. "I trust you all remember Schala?"
There was a startled gasp. "How find her?" asked Ayla.
"That, is a story for another day. The point is, we're here, to help."
"But how DID you get here?" asked Lucca.
"I'll answer that," said Robo. "Shortly after the White Bird was completed, I took it back to find him. I did, and he came."
"Magus..." began Tristain. "Is it you?"
Magus nodded. "It is."
Tristain got up. "It's been so long, I thought you'd be dead by now, old man." Magus grinned, a rare sight from him, "I'm not THAT old, boy."
"You two knoweth each other?" asked Frog.
"Oh, Frog, don't you remember? Two days before Cyrus left to get the Masamune, the battle of Red Fire Pass?" asked Magus.
Frog gasped. "I hath forgotten! The Battle with the Knights of Darkness, who were slain to a man by some unseen force!"
Tristain nodded. "I was recently incited, just gotten my blade. I was fifteen. Baruda decided to take me as his personal servant instead of killing me. I served him for ten years. I hated him, and waited to settle the score. When Crono came, I saw my chance."
"But where doth Magus enter?" asked Frog.
"Magus tried to save me, but failed," said Tristain, remorsefully.
"But it is all behind us now," said Magus. "Let us concentrate on the task at hand."
"Right, Magus," began Lucca. "Now, the nine of you will engage their ground forces with the remnants of the armies. Crono, you, Tristain, Dar, and Frog will each lead a unit of Swordsmen. Ayla, you work best alone, so don't take too many hits. Robo, you'll work with the cannon crews.
"Marle, you'll lead a unit of Crossbows, backed by two more. Magus and Schala, you're on your own. So try to make use of your magical skills, and keep out of the hand-to-hand combat, okay? You'll all have Mystic artillery at you're back, so you have some long-range attacks besides the Crossbows. Also there'll be a few units of Long Bows mixed in. I'll take care of their airborne forces from up here. Also, the Head of the Mystics has gifted us with a magic item, which I think will be best used by Dar." She handed him a sword. "This is the Phoenix Blade. It can launch a Fireball three times, so make good use of it." Dar took it, and hung it at his waist.
Magus rose. "I have been studying the few Zeal books remaining. They speak of items of great power, one of which was the Phoenix Blade. The others are the Cat's Eye, a sword, the SoulScythe, which can harvest a person's soul by drawing blood, the Lion's Eye Bracers, which each carry a crystal, that, when joined, will create a shield able to repel anything, and the Shadowsword. I believe we should try to find these items. My guess is that they're still in the Dark Ages, buried somewhere, perhaps in the Sun Keep."
"I second that idea," said Crono.
"Very well, we'll use our two days until Epoch is repaired and the other ships, which I call Time Skimmers, are finished. Take the White Bird and get moving."
Over the next few days, Crono, Tristain, and Magus spent most of their time searching. Then one time, "I found it!" yelled Tristain.
He had unearthed the Shadowsword and Lion's Eye Bracers. Putting them on, he said, "The others must be around here somewhere."
Over the next two hours, they finally re-discovered the Cat's Eye and SoulScythe. "Let's go," said Magus.
Returning to the Present, they met up with everyone else. Lucca broke the news.
"The Chaos Knights have launched an attack. We must engage them now."
Everyone rushed to his or her stations. Crono made a quick stop to see his mom. "Mom, this might be the last time I see you, so..."
"Crono, I understand, and I'm still proud to say you're my son. Your bartender friend Dar told me what happened a few days ago. Now go get them!" his mom said. Giving her a quick kiss, Crono rushed to join his regiment.
Landing the pods on the ground, all the people quickly formed up. They could see the Knights doing the same thing in the distance, even as more poured through the Gate. Crono took a quick glance around. In the back, regiments of swords were flanking units of crossbows and archers, one of them led by Marle.
In the very rear, three cannons stood, with Robo near one of them. Alongside them were a few mortars. Schala and Magus were standing close to each other, and preparing. Ayla was pacing, waiting for the fight to begin. Frog, Dar and Tristain leaned on their swords at the front of their units.
And then the Chaos Knights charged.
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