An Ultimate Quest Chapter 10
They finally got to the bottom of the pit. If it's not hell, it's very close to it.
There are so many spirits; ghosts of those died in hatred. They are trapped between worlds by their hatred, with no where to go, nothing to do, they can see, can hear, but can not touch, can not feel.
They surrounded the group, attracted to the life and energy coming from them.
"Please relieve us of our misery " The shadows whispered, in a voice that makes warm blood turn ice.
"What is this place? " Celes shivered, walking closer to Locke, he put an arm around her shoulder protectively.
Barret yelled: "*&^%! Sephiroth! Or Lakefroth, whatever you call yourself, come outta here and fight!"
"Lakefroth, Ayla challenge you!" the ape woman roared.
Edgar tightened his grip on Illumina: "You heard the lady, get your f*&^ing ass over here!"
"Tisk, tisk, such tempers, my friend." Something near them materialized, Lakefroth smiles at them maliciously, "So you pathetic little blockhead are prepared to die? Did you forget to write your will? I can provide you with a lawyer you know."
"Very funny." Glenn draw his sword, "Thou art the person who will parish!"
"Gee, the frog bluffs " Lakefroth laughs sarcastically, and he started to change his form: "I was Lavos, I was Kefka, I was Sephiroth, but now, I'm so much more powerful than that! Meet my true form--Taiki-Nataku!"
"What the *&^%? This guy's Japanese?" Barret wants to know.
Shadow replied in a tense voice: "Taiki-Nataku is a demon in ancient myth. Supposingly he has three heads, six arms and is extremely vicious. In myth, he was destroyed by twenty brave heroes with the assistance of three minor gods."
"Someone tell me why I'm not surprised." Sabin murmured, looking at the new figure stood before them, and whistled.
The figure was very tall, almost tall as Figaro Castle, with three identical heads and six arms like Shadow predicted.
"Now what do you think?" Lakefroth laughed sarcastically, "Going to say your last words?"
Locke snapped: "I think your face is still an ugly piece of $hit as ever!" He throws a blast at Lakefroth: "Ultima!"
It didn't seem to have much an impact. Lakefroth merely waved and cast a spell of his own: "Grand Dream!"
Red-hot magma blasted around them, the party took the damage pretty heavily.
"Cure3!" "Cure2!" Celes and Marle immediately healed the party.
"Magic Wall!" "Mirror!" "Reflect!" Magus, Cyan and Setzer casted protective spells.
"Hurry up!" Setzer yelled, "We'll hold his magic off, destroy him now!"
Sabin, Crono, Cloud and Shadow were the first to act, attacked the three heads altogether.
"Super Nova!" Lakefroth's spell shook the protective barrier violently, but it held together in place, and no one was damaged. But from the pale expression of Magus, Cyan and Setzer, it's obvious the hit was hard on them.
Edgar, Locke and Celes' triple Ultima attack immediately followed, while Terra morphed into Esper, and strike Lakefroth four times with her shining Atma Weapon.
Lakefroth groaned and strike back. With his six arms, the physical blow was just as powerful as any magic attack, wounded Cloud, Crono and Terra who were in the front.
"Cure2!" Marle healed them, while Glenn attacks with Masamune, Ayla did a triple kick, and Barret used the most powerful summoning materia yet: "Knights of the Round!"
This took Lakefroth by surprise, and he cried in pain and anguish. The three heads chanted at the same time, and produced three magic attacks: "Death Angel!" "Shadow Flare!" "Doom's Door!"
The magic barrier nearly crumbled, and Magus cursed violently. "Damn, destroy him now!"
"Pathetic fools!" Lakefroth laughed, "Do you really think you could beat me? My power is beyond anything your puny minds could imagine! With Master Usroe behind me, I'm invincible!"
He cast another spell, and the magic barrier collapsed. The force of it also wounded Magus, Cyan and Setzer.
"Celes, Marle, concentrate on the healing while we attack!" Locke yelled, while rolling on the ground and Lakefroth's sword missed his head by a mere inch.
"Haste!" Marle cast the spell to speed up their action, but it wasn't much help. Without the protection of a magic barrier, the party is much more vulnerable than before. Soon Shadow, Cyan and Glenn were seriously injured, and the rest not much better off.
"Damn the son of a %$^#&!!!" Barret cursed, with sweat pouring down his face.
Lakefroth smiles in triumph: "See your mistake? You overestimated yourselves. You are all fools!"
"He attacks, and continue to mock: "Terra stupid little Esper! The world mistreated you yet you foolishly sacrifices yourself for its course, and just what did you get? Magus searches for Schala with obsession, although the girl's already a cold corpse under the sea; and you Cloud, you are so pathetic I almost want to shed my tears for you. You'll never get your dear Aeris back, not ever!"
"That's not true! Terra loves the world, and we love her!" Edgar yelled, combining his magic with that of Celes and Locke: "Tri-Ultima!"
"And at least Magus has someone who loves him, unlike you," Marle mocked, "Look at you, you'll never attract a bitch even if you are the last male spices in the whole universe!"
She combines her power with Crono and Magus; Magus sent it directly in Lakefroth's face: "Dark Eternal!"
Cloud was about to attack, but Lakefroth acted first: "Meteor!"
Nova energy blasted around them. A shrill, Terra fall to the ground, abruptly changed back to her human form, and many of them fell on their knees.
"I refuse to believe this is... our end " Cyan's breath came out in rasps.
"No! I will not give up!" Cloud struggled to remain standing with his sword. He reached his limit break. Only if only if he has enough energy to perform it
"Great Gospel." A female voice whispered.
Cool, smoothing wind wrapped around them. With a heavenly word of prayer, angels appeared, granting them power, energy and protective barrier.
Lakefroth stares at a certain figure behind them with surprise and fear: "No! Not you, you are "
Cloud saw his chance. "Omni Slash!"
Terra and Crono helped.
The impact produced was tremendous. Lakefroth moaned in pain and begin to collapse.
Cloud didn't even wait for him to decompose totally; he turned to search for the owner of that voice he just heard. There's such familiarity in that soft voice he was almost sure it was the voice of Aeris.
In fact, all of them turned to see the person who helped them win the battle. They found a tall woman standing there. A stunningly beautiful woman with silvery-violet hair and an almost perfect complexion, but she was not Aeris.
Cloud can hardly hide his disappointment, but he managed to ask in a polite tone: "may I ask you who you are? Did you help us?"
The woman smiles: "I'm Arteren, the Queen of Order."
"You are Arteren?" Edgar asks, "I think Lakefroth mentioned you, and someone else named Ya "
"Yasha, the Lord of Justice." Arteren nodded, "Then there's our nemesis Usroe, the King of Chaos."
So they are actually talking to one of the great goddess of the world? Setzer was a bit dazed: "And Lakefroth?"
"He was a minion of Usroe. Lakefroth was created or maybe I should say, revived, to turn the whole universe into a realm of Chaos. Usroe told him to start with the fairy tale land, that's why we sent for you."
"Then My dream of Aeris, Magus' feeling of Schala calling, and the burnt down of Tzen in Terra's world were all your doing?" Cloud demanded.
"Well, yes and no. I just twisted fate a little to make you come, but these things will occur without my interference."
"I'm confused " Marle murmured, "So you are saying we are like pawns in a battle between gods?"
"And why haven't you told us one bit about it until Lakefroth was done with? He at least got directions from Usroe!"
"By the laws set by the king of gods, we are not allowed to directly control mortal's actions. Usroe broke the law, but that doesn't mean it does not exist anymore. Besides, I sent help to you, didn't I?"
She smiles at Cloud: "You should be familiar with the spell that aided you, am I right?"
"You mean " Cloud's heart start to pound.
"Yes, I created a temporal gate for Aeris to send her spell over. Lakefroth is defeated because of her help. She prayed for Holy to save your world, and now she helped to restore peace to this world. I guess that is enough reason to grant her wish-- the wish of you both, as a matter of fact."
Arteren raised her hand and traced a rune: "As the ruler of order, I call upon the force of life, open the gates and let the person through."
The rune flashes, and a figure appeared, a beautiful girl with deep green eyes that's been in Cloud's mind every day and night
"Aeris " He whispered her name, as if afraid she would disappear.
"C Cloud?" She gasps, nearly fell on her knees. He ran to her and catches her in time, wrapping her in his arms.
"Cloud! It's really you!" Aeris laughed between sobs, "I I've been waiting for you. I missed you, in that world of nothingness, you seemed like a dream so far out of my reach I missed you so! You don't know how I've missed you "
"I know, Aeris, I know." He gently kissed away her tears, hugging her tighter. He missed her too. All those sleepless nights he spent in pain and regrets, letting the scene of her death haunt him, torturing him over and over again.
They look at each other, and read the thoughts in each other's eyes: "Nothing will separate us, not ever again!"
They just looked at each other; they had no idea how long it lasted seemed like a minute, an hour, or a century. But finally, the spell was broken by other's cheers.
They looked around. The others kindly kept a distance, providing them with privacy. Right now they are all hugging and cheering. Barret saw them looking his way. He didn't come over, but there's a broad smile on his face as he waved to Aeris. She waves back.
Further away, Terra was in Edgar's arms, and the two of them were hugged by Edgar's twin Sabin; Crono and Marle were engaged in a wild couple's dance, and Locke was kissing Celes. The others danced around the three pair of couples, laughing. Then in the far corner, they saw magus. There is a woman in his arms, and she has the same color of blue hair as he does.
"So Arteren granted his wish too." Cloud thought to himself, feeling happy for the magician.
"That is all I can do for you now " Arteren said, and disappeared. There will be another task waiting for them in the future, a harder task. But for now, they deserved the time to celebrate.
In the near future, order will be challenged, courage will be tested, and the heroes, will unite once more
After two days of wild celebration, they finally had to part with each other. But before the parting, Edgar and Terra had their engagement party, so all of their friend could see.
Then it comes the time to say goodbye. It was long, but none of them felt too sad. They had the feeling that somehow they are going to meet with each other, sometime soon
On Falcon, Locke asks: "So the quest is over, but we didn't accomplish what we came for."
Edgar sighed: "Well, you heard Arteren yourself. The gate can't be shut, so some magic will always exist in our world, we just have to deal with it."
"What do we do when we get to Figaro?" Setzer asks.
"We still have to find out who is responsible for burn down Tzen, and after that, I guess we'll have a wedding." Celes looks at Edgar and Terra, "Right?"
Sabin teased: "From the way you and Locke look, I'd make it two weddings."
They all laughed.
The epoch was busy for a while after Crono and others return to their world. They had to drive Ayla to prehistoric ages, magus and Schala to the dark ages, and Glenn to the Middle Ages. But eventually Crono and Marle returned to their own time.
Things didn't go smoothly for them, however. Since they left in secret, Marle's father, the King of Guardia was angry with them. As a punishment, he ordered Crono and Marle to marry immediately, and store them to the throne right after that. The wedding and coronation together lasted a week. By the end of it, the new King and Queen of Guardia were much exhausted and ready to drop dead on the floor.
On their way back, Cloud asked Aeris what she knows about Usroe's plans.
"Well, not much. I was in the land of the dead, and then Arteren came to me. She granted me access to your dream, and asked me to send for your help." Aeris replied, "But I think the Lion know more about it."
"The Lion? You mean " Barret nearly choked.
Aeris smiles: "Yes, I mean Tifa's boyfriend or probably husband by now. He knows a lot more than he pretends. Let's pay them a visit, we ought to be able to get a lot from him."
Cloud nodded: "I have a feeling that our battle is not finished yet "
Aeris shook her head: "No, it's not. But this time, promise me we'll face it together until the end."
"I promise." He wrapped his arms around her protectively, and cried silently: Come what may, I'm ready!
The end. (well, kind of )