An Ultimate Quest Chapter 7
"Snowing?!" Edgar jumped, "What the hell are you talking about? It's March now!"
"Just take a look outside." Locke said bitterly.
Edgar and Terra hurry to the window and look down, they gasped.
It is really snowing, just like Locke said, and it is a blizzard. The ground was completely covered with thick snow; they can't see the trail where they came anymore.
"This is almost impossible." Terra murmured, reaching out for Edgar's hand in awe and fear, "It is unnatural "
He wrapped his fingers around her hand tightly. Even though he is not sensitive to magic as Terra is, he can still sense there is evil power that caused this blizzard to take place.
Turning away from the window, Edgar asks Locke: "How deep is the snow?"
"Up to my waist." Locke replied with uneasiness: "The door is completely blocked and even if the snow stops now, we will be stuck in this castle for at least another three days.
"Damn." This is more serious than he thought. He frowns, "Do we have any food?"
"I have some bread and crackers in my pack, Cloud has some dried meat too, but no way it's gonna be enough to sustain the fifteen us for three days." Locke sighed in frustration, "Edgar, any suggestions?"
He shook his head: "I don't know Is everyone up?"
"Almost everyone. Ayla, Glenn and Cyan haven't show up yet, and Shadow is still in the west tower with Magus."
"Go wake them up." Edgar said, still holding Terra's hand, "I'll get Cloud and others to search the castle with me, see if we can find anything."
Sabin stares at him: "Just what do you expect to accomplish by that? If there is any food it must be 800 years old, and I'm not gonna eat that even if I starve to death! Unless you can find a cauldron of plenty or something."
Edgar forced a smile: "Actually, that is the idea. After all, this is the fairy tale land, never know what you'll find over here."
"Well you are right." Sabin starts to walk out the door, and calls back, "I hope this cauldron of plenty of yours is not gonna be f*&^ing pink too!"
They went to Cloud and the others, who were sitting in the main hall. After a brief explanation, they all agreed to help. They separated into three groups, searching the basement, attics and storage rooms.
Terra, Edgar and Cloud went to the basement. It was dark, humid and very large. The only light source they have is the magic fire globe in Terra's hand, and as they walk, their footsteps echo in the empty room, sounding very much like someone is approaching from the other side.
"I don't like this place, it's creepy." Terra whispered.
"Well, neither do I, but let's just have a look around." Edgar too produced a fire globe in his hand: "Come, let's make it brighter in here."
They combined their fires into one big sphere and send it upward, lighting the whole room.
The basement is basically empty, except for a locked wooden door on the other side of the room.
"Allow me." Cloud draw his sword, swings it and slammed at the door, breaking it into four wooden blocks instantly. The wooden blocks fell, and the door was opened.
"Impressive." Edgar said with admiration, and went in first. He gasped.
In the room were many treasure chests, all of them with top open. In the chests were silks, gold coins, china, gems, and countless other things, some of them so rare that he can't even tell what they are made of. He had to admit Figaro's Royal Treasure Room wasn't half as intimidating as this one.
"I think I should tell Locke to come down and take a look, he's the expert in this." Edgar finally said.
Terra nodded: "Yeah, and if Magus is there, bring him too. Marle told me he is good at identifying magical items."
"Alright, be right back." Edgar hurried upstairs.
While waiting for him, Terra and Cloud carefully inspected the room.
"So, what do you think the blizzard is about?" Cloud asks her.
Terra shakes her head: "I don't know, but I'm almost sure someone is behind this."
Cloud nodded: "So you felt it too, then it wasn't my imagination. I think someone is definitely behind this storm."
"Could it be Lakefroth?" Terra asks while bending down to look at some scripts scattered on the floor. "If it was Lakefroth, why did he do it?"
Cloud shrugs his shoulder: "Who knows? Maybe he wants to trap us here and starve us to death?"
"Talking about that, we better find something that could help, otherwise we would really starve, "Terra felt a chill in her spine and shivered. "If this storm was caused by him, he is really powerful "
"And damn ugly. I've never seen a face messed up like that in my life." Cloud remarks, trying to cheer Terra up, "Don't worry, we'll get out of this. I'll be damned if I let an ugly psycho like him beat me."
"Yeah, I guess you are right." She relaxed a little.
Just then they heard steps. Edgar returned, bring Locke and Magus with him.
When they came into the treasure room, Locke whistled three times, and even Magus was impressed: "It's quiet something they got over here." He remarked.
"Anything useful?" Edgar asks hopefully.
"Well, we'll have to see about that." Locke replied, bending down to exam one of the treasure chests, while Magus looks at the weapons in the corner.
Terra was looking at the scrolls when Edgar approaches her with a smile: "Here, take this."
"Whoa, it's beautiful." She took the object from his hand and gasped. It was a very small and delicate dagger, with emeralds all over the handle. The dagger has long, thin sharp blades, double-edged and very crafty. It is actually a hairpin.
Edgar smiles: "Found it in the pile over there. It matches your eyes, besides, you might need it someday. Here, let me put this on for you." He took it from her hand and carefully pinned it in her hair.
"You look beautiful." He smiles, brushing a string of loose curl away from her face.
Terra blushed slightly: "Thanks, Edgar."
Cloud saw them with a smile and a feeling of lost. Somehow, this remains him of Aeris, of the night at the Golden Saucer.
He was aimless looking through a treasure chest when something caught his eyes. It was a necklace made of pearl, amethyst and some other gem stones, it is breath-takingly beautiful. Cloud grabs it and put it in his pocket. He'll save Aeris, and when he does, he'll give this to her.
Then he saw a gauntlet with ruby and gold embroidery; he thought for a moment, and with a smile took it as well. Tifa is probably getting married soon, he needs a wedding gift anyway.
Suddenly Locke calls out to them: "Hey, come over here, I think I found something."
* * * *
"What is it?" Edgar looks at the pinkish pot in Locke's hand with obvious disgust, "Something special about it?"
"Well, I don't know exactly what it is, but look at this." Locke took a cracker from his pocket and drops it into the pot, with a "puff" and some scented smoke; it turns into a 12 serving cherry pie.
"Wow!" Terra cried, "Edgar you were right, we found a cauldron of plenty!"
"I won't call it a cauldron of plenty exactly, Terra." Magus said, "It doesn't just make anything appear out of nowhere, you have to give it something first. But I think with this, we'll survive the storm."
Everyone was surprised. The magician usually doesn't talk unless questioned. Then they saw he was holding some weapons with a satisfied smile, and they understood. The magician is in a good mood because he found what suits his taste.
"Let's go up then." Edgar said, eyeing the pinkish pot with a crooked smile, "I bet Sabin will love this."
* * * *
When they get up to the main hall, they learned that Celes and the others also found something in the storage, a bunch of flying mop?
"Well, they fly." Celes said with a shrug, "Who says they must be broomstick or carpet?"
Just then Marle runs in breathless, holding a shining thing in her hand: "Look everyone! We found this in the attic."
In her hand is a crystal pyramid, with a magical aura so obvious that even those not sensitive to magic detected.
"What is it?" Cyan asks with great interest.
"It' s a magical scanner, shows the location of anything in this world upon your request. Watch this." Crono calls to the crystal, "Crystal, show us where Lakefroth's castle is."
The crystal brightened, and then as if surrounded by a light mist, shows Lakefroth's castle in the middle of a swamp, just beyond the mountains.
"Amazing." Locke murmured, "This might prove to be very useful."
"So what did you find?" Celes asks.
"This." Locke shows everyone the pot and the cherry pie. While he explains what the pot does, Ayla eagerly took the pie and ate more than half of the it all by herself.
When she finished, she shakes her head: "Ayla no more hungry, but food no yummy."
Terra and Marle each took a small piece from what's left, and put it in their mouth gingerly. They finish with the same weird expression on their face.
"How is it?" Crono asks anxiously, "Is it really bad?"
"Well, it's...it's better than the seafood noodle Robo made." Marle said at last.
Glenn grimaced--an odd expression for a frog: "That does not help much. Robo's seafood noodle had circuits and wires in it."
Barret turns to Terra for a more reliable reference: "What do you think, gal?"
"It's edible. I think." She finally said, "Why don't you try some yourself?"
Barret, along with others took the advice, while Marle discovered that Sabin is not around.
"Where's your twin?" She asks Edgar.
"He found some gauntlet and gloves in the storage, I think he's still there." Celes replied.
Marle takes the pot from Locke's hand, looking at the pattern with a smug smile. The pot is pink and decorated with pastel-colored bow ties and teddy bears; and Sabin's hatred for that sort of thing is very famous.
"Wait until I show this to him." Marle ran out of the room, "Yohoo! Sabin, where are you? Take a look at this!"
Edgar sighed: "The girl's done it! He's going to hate her for the rest of his life."
Crono immediately ran after Marle, to make sure Sabin would not lose temper and decide to practice blitz on his girlfriend.
* * * *
After some fuzz and other nonsense, they searched the castle a second time, thoroughly. This time they found some really nice items, including potions, elixirs, and fenix down. There are also armors and weapons they found. Among those were two diamond armors, a diamond shield and three moon armors, they also found several minor magic swords which are sturdier than regular swords, so those without good weapon or armor changed their equipment.
Quickly the night arrived. They ate a dinner with the things that pink pot provided. As Terra said, the taste wasn't flattering, but edible anyway. The snow still didn't stop, but whatever they can do about that, it has to be done tomorrow. With that, they bid each other goodnight.
Terra slept along and pretty comfortable in her own room. Without thunder and lighting like the previous night, darkness along doesnt bother her that much. For how long she slept, she has no idea. But suddenly she woke up with chills down her spine. The feeling is back again, the uncanny feeling that someone is watching her with intense focus
Suddenly she felt something cold and hard on her neck. Whatever that is, it tightened, and she twisted in her bed, struggling for breath.
Someone--something is choking her, but she can't see it! Terra twisted and kicked, desperately trying to break away. She opened her mouth to cite a spell but couldn't make a sound, and she is starting to see colors before her eyes. If she doesn't do something soon, she's going to die.
Her hand touched a cold metal: the dagger hairpin Edgar gave her. She grabs it and stabbed aimlessly.
Lucky for her, it hit the target. The force on her neck loosened a bit, the invisible creature let out a cry of pain, and materialized. It is a Master Demon.
Terra rolled away, reaching for her Atma Weapon. She rolled again when the creature charge to ward her, sent a fireball at the creature and yelled: "Help!"
Her back hit something solid; she grimaced with the pain. She had slammed into the wall, and the creature is gaining on her. She slashes her sword at him, screamed: "Help!"
"Terra!" her door was busted open, Edgar, Locke, Celes and Cloud stumble in one by one, Celes with a torch.
"A Master Demon!" Edgar ran to Terra, blocking between her and the demon. He hastily murmured something and a wall of fire surrounded the demon.
The demon dismissed it with a mere gesture, and cast a spell of his own.
A portal appeared. It was a summoning spell, bringing forth two gargoyles, three undead wyverns and a hellhound.
"Damn!" Cloud swears aloud, slams his sword at the hellhound. The three-headed creature jumped away, while one of the gargoyle fill in. Cloud wields his sword into a confusing drill, and with that damaged the gargoyle.
"What in the *&^% world?" Barret, Sabin, Crono and Marle came, followed by Ayla, Cyan, Magus and the others.
Seeing this, the demon chanted again. This time the spell was zone warp, and they are all sucked into another dimension.
"*&^%, &^%##^&*^, *&^$##@&**!!!" Barret cursed just like Cid, "Now we are done for!"
"You idiot, this spell is bound to the source! As soon as we finish this demon, the dimension will collapse and release us!" Magus shouted, burning one of the wyvern with fire, "Someone get that cursed demon!"
"Like we are having a tea party while you fight? Look around, the f*&^ing piece of $hit summoned an army!" Sabin yelled, bum rushing a gargoyle.
It's true, they are now surrounded by at least fifty creatures from hell, ranging from mummy, vampire to wyverns, undead dragons.
"Fifty of them and fifteen of us, each of us only have to take care of three or four, it's not that bad." Setzer said, throwing Fire3 at a mummy.
"Not that bad?" Marle cried, casting Haste on Crono; "Are you bluffing or just a plain dummy?"
"How unflattering, to think the best gambler in the world is actually an idiot." Celes remarked, and with Ice3 froze an undead dragon in midair. The huge block of ice dropped to the ground with a deafening thud crushed a hellhound.
"Efficiency is the key." Cyan murmured, and teams up with Glenn. Soon they have slain a gargoyle.
"Crono, team with Ayla, team with Ayla!" Ayla Triple Kicked a hellhound to death, ran toward Crono, "We do Falcon Hit, ok?"
"I hate Falcon Hit, it makes my head spin!" He complained, but Ayla ignores him and throw him up anyway. Crono then glide down with an amazing speed, cutting a mummy into halves.
Marle shot a vampire with her cross bow. The wooden arrow struck him right in his heart, and he turned to dust. Marle declared in triumph: "Meet Marle, the Vampire Slayer!"
"Gee, far as I can remember, the last one, that Buffy girl was prettier." Edgar teased, locking swords with a skeleton knight.
"Now that was cruel, and you claim to be a lady's man?" Terra stood back to back with him, casting Meteor on two hellhounds.
"Forget, he is no more lady's man than I am a contributing good citizen who pays tax." Locke mocked, attacking another skeleton knight with swords in both hands.
The enemy's number decreased sharply, the Master Demon was finally within attacking range. Terra, Shadow, Magus and Cloud were the first to reach him.
"Wall!" Terra cast the protective spell just when the demon cited his spell. The bolt he sent was reflected on the magical wall without doing any harm.
"Ultima!" "Ultima!" Locke and Shadow sent a double Ultima to him.
"Pearl!" It was Celes.
"Leviathan!" Cloud used a summon materia.
"Dark Eternal!" A joint effort of Crono, Marle and Magus.
"Ungarmax!" An impressive limit break from Barret.
"Bubble Attack!" Ayla and Glenn's combo.
"Ultima!" "Ultima!" "Ultima!" It was Edgar, Setzer and Cyan.
"Bum Rush!" Sabin used his best blitz.
With that, the demon finally starts to decompose, turning bit by bit to dust. A flash, and they were back to reality, all fifteen of them squeezed in Terra's room.
Without a time to catch their breath, an evil laughter echoed in the room: "Impressive, how very impressive, I never knew Arteren and Yasha had the power to assemble such an army. But no matter, I will destroy you. You can't stop me! The world will be mine! The world and I, shall become one "
Cloud suddenly took a step forward, and whispered:"Sephiroth."
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