An Ultimate Quest Chapter 9
Terra's heart skipped a beat. "Edgar!" She calls to him, with an unexplainable joy in her heart.
He turned to her, concerned: "Terra, where have you been? Tomorrow's going to be tough. You should have gone to bed."
"I couldn't sleep, so I went to the kitchen for some tea." She stands by his side, uncertain of what else to say.
He studies her for a minute or so, and smiles: "What's the matter? I've never seen you so restless."
"Oh I'm alright. It's just that Well, we've never battled such foe before. One Kefka was enough pain in the neck, and now he's back from the dead and he has triple identity? Whatever you call three minds in a body."
Edgar shakes his head: "If anyone told me Kefka's alive before we set out on our quest, I'd laugh in his face and tell him I'll hire him as court jester. I saw, we all saw Kefka turned to ashes that day, it's hard to believe you can actually revive something messed up like that."
"Maybe that's why Lakefroth's face is so messed up." Terra murmured in bitter sarcasm.
Edgar chuckled: "Logical conclusion. Besides, Kefka was homely even before he turned into that pile of dust."
Terra's smile was a bit on the nervous side. She hasn't forgotten what Kefka did to her, to her memory. His insane laughter would probably haunt her for the rest of her life.
Edgar quickly changed the subject: "So, Terra, what are you gonna do after the battle is over?"
"Edgar, we still have to track down the person who burned Tzen, remember? After that is over, I'd probably go back to Mobliz."
He nodded absently, seeming to be absorbed in his own thoughts: "Then promise me you'll visit often? I'm going to miss you a lot I've missed you for the last two years. Sometime I really want to just hop onto a ship and come to Mobliz, but they won't let me travel that far without a whole bunch of royal escorts, and I know you'll hate me if I bring so many people to ruin your quiet village.
She chuckled, and then shakes her head: "No, I won't not when the guest is you. I would always welcome you, even if you bring an army with you."
His heart skipped a beat, looks at her intensely: "Would you?"
She nodded: "I would. You are special."
"Terra " Suddenly, he understands something, something he desperately hoped for, yet never dared to think it to be true. He sweeps her into his arms, and whispered: "You know it then, don't you? You know I love you "
"I " She dared not to look into his eyes. She knew, she knew it since the beginning of this quest, or maybe earlier. But she thought it was only her imaginations, thought she was flattering herself out of her way. He is a very handsome man, with youth, wealth, power, and genius She ought to be blind not to see all the noble women chasing after him.
She forced a smile: " Edgar, I You are a, a ruler, a king while I'm just a freak "
"Terra!" He felt rage for the way she speaks. She suffered much, sacrificed much to save their world, yet the world has been cruel to her, trying to crush what esteem and pride was left in her self-doubting mind.
He gently yet firmly lifted her chin, so he looks directly into her emerald eyes: "Don't you never, ever, EVER debase yourself like that again! You are not a freak! You are the beautiful, intelligent and courageous woman I love."
"Edgar " She felt tears in her eyes, not from fear or shame, but of a joy so great that it warmed her heart. "I don't deserve such comments "
"Yes you do, believe me, you do." He smiles with a pretentious arrogance, "I'm a king remember? I don't settle for anything less than perfection."
She chuckled softly between sniffs: "I'm not perfect."
"Maybe not, but to me you are, because I love you." He kissed her forehead, not wanting to scare her.
But she lifted her head, and for a breathless moment their lips met.
She had imagined what it would be like, but she could never guess the joy, the excitement, and the heat she felt at that moment. As if a thousand stars shining sparkling bright in her sky, she finally found a place where she belong.
They finally broke the kiss; both a bit shocked by the experience. He sit down on the bed, cradling her in his arms, and for the moment content to just hold her like that.
They look at the starry sky together, and Terra whispers: "Not too many hours before the battle "
He draws her closer to him: "Don't worry, we'll go through this together."
"Hum " She bury her face against his chest, "Edgar Don't ever let me go "
"I won't. Swear I won't" He kissed her, "Terra, you have loved You loved the children as a mother, loved us as a friend, and loved Locke as a sister Now will you love me, as a woman?"
She returned his kiss passionately, whispered: "Make me your woman "
With that, the king of Figaro and his future Queen fall on the bed in each other's arms, with mind, body and heart together as one.
Edgar woke up early the next morning. In the blink of a second, he was confused by the touch of a soft feminine body on top of him, but then he remembers, and a smile lit up his face. He shakes her shoulder gently: "Terra, wake up, it's morning now."
"Um " She yawns, and sleepily opened her eyes: "Good morning "
"Good morning, darling." He kissed her, and winked, "May I get up now? We better get down before someone comes knocking."
She laughs, and rolled aside. They hastily dressed, and went down to the kitchen together, hand in hand with fingers locked.
They found Locke and Celes in the kitchen already, sitting together with Locke's hand on Celes' waist.
"Gee, look at the early lovebirds." Edgar teased, getting a cup of tea.
Locke looks at him and Terra, then smiles: "I think I can say the same thing for you two." He pushes a plate across the table to Terra, "Try some of this. That pink pot you found in the basement makes terrible dinner, but the muffins taste kind of good."
"Thanks, but I don't think I can eat much." Terra smiles, "I'm not hungry at all."
"Nonsense. You need strength before a battle." Celes said, reaching for another crispy breadstick, "Eat slow, and take some tea with it, you'll be surprised by what you can stuff down. Besides, we have to enjoy what peace we can have now, otherwise when Barret and Sabin come down "
"They'll have a dual over a cinnamon roll." Edgar finished for her, and they all laughed.
'Good morning guys! What's so funny?" Marle came in with Crono, Cloud and Setzer.
"Oh nothing, we were just talking about Sabin and Barret's enthusiasm for breakfast." Edgar answered, "By the way, are they up yet?"
Crono shakes his head: "Don't think so. When we walk past Barret's door he was snoring like a cave dragon, and Sabin "
"As soon as he wake up, he'll rush for food." Locke concluded, "So they are still sleeping. Man, I envy these people. A big battle ahead doesn't seem to affect them at all."
"Speaking of that, when do we leave?" Cloud asks.
"I'd say as soon as everyone is up and had a good breakfast. By the way," He looks at Celes, "Do we really have to ride on those flying mops?"
"No one's stopping you from walking." Celes shrugged indifferently.
Setzer looks at the mops lining in the corner, and looks at the snow outside which is at least two feet deep, and sighed: "Damn I miss my Falcon. Why did we choose to leave it in the forest?"
"Because this is the *&^% fairy tale land and you just don't have airships in a fairy tale. If we rode on Falcon, people'll think we are some evil freak and send dragon knights after us, satisfied?"
Setzer grumbled: "But still, why flying mops?"
"Because you are not a witch and you can't ride broomstick." Marle said with some humor, and put a plate down on the table, "Chocolate cookies, anyone?"
"Ayla want cookie!"
In comes Sabin, Barret and Ayla, dashing to the table like three pistols. Crono pulled Marle aside just in time so she doesn't get crushed, while the rest of them made way for the three.
"Man, these people sure mastered the art of dramatic entrance " Marle murmured, and yells at the top of her lung, "Save a piece for me, I love chocolate cookie!!!"
Sometime later, they were ready for the final battle. There are a total of seven flying mops available, and there are fifteen of them, so they ride in pairs. The one person left unpaired is Magus, but he can fly by himself, so they set on the road.
"Man this is f*&^ed up!" Barret protested, adjusting himself uncomfortably on the mop stick, "We look like a bunch of lunatics!"
" I know! This is so undignified." Sabin murmured, eyeing Magus who is flying freely ahead of them, "Damn I envy that magician."
"Alright, shut up people, we are about to land." Celes shout to them, and they saw the black castle ahead of them, in the middle of the swamp. It must be Lakefroth's castle.
They landed in front of the giant castle, and frowned. A sphere of black ray, with tiny electric currents visible surrounded the castle.
"A seal." Celes examined it carefully; "It appears to be self-sustaining, not easy to break."
"The energy source is right there." Magus pointed to the far corner of the castle. They followed him over there, and saw a stone plate with an enormous red gem set on it.
"Very good. You found the source, but can you break it?" A musical voice asks. The red gem shattered, and vaporized. The vapor takes another shape, a gigantic fire finch with a long, blazing tail. "I'm red finch, the spirit of south."
A green flash, a white flash and a black flash appeared in the other three corners, and voiced were heard:
"I'm green dragon, the spirit of east."
"I'm white tiger, the spirit of west."
"And I'm black leopard, the spirit of north."
"Damn, we must destroy them at the same time in order to break the seal!" Magus cursed, and shouted, "I'll take care of this beast, now go!"
Terra, Edgar, Locke and Celes ran to the east: "We'll handle the dragon!"
Cyan, Glenn, Sabin and Ayla ran to the opposite direction: "Leave the tiger to us!"
Crono, Marle, Cloud and Barret didn't waste time either: "The leopard is ours!"
Shadow and Setzer stayed with Magus to battle the red finch.
The fire spirit glide down toward them, producing a shower of red-hot magma.
"Magic seal!" Magus cited the spell just in time to shield them.
"Setzer, over here!" Shadow called to him.
Setzer nodded, and threw a knife. It landed on the beast's throat, while shadow's buried itself in its chest.
The spirit shrilled, batting its wings wildly and magma showered heavily down.
"I'm at it!" He murmured and waved his hand in a series of complicated gesture: "I call upon the power of underworld, Dark Matter, banish this creature to the eternal prison of shadow!"
A huge black gate appeared, swallowing the wounded firebird. The first seal was broken. The whole battle lasted less than two minutes.
However, they were not the first to succeed. Edgar, Terra, Locke and Celes already finished the green dragon with a joint effort of four Ultima blasts.
At the same time, Cloud, Barret, Crono and Marle did away the leopard of the north. And it was not before long that the last seal, tiger of the west was destroyed.
They meet again at the front gate.
"Well that wasn't too hard now was it?" Setzer commented suspiciously, "What's the catch?"
Before anyone could answer him, the ground beneath them begin to shake violently, and the gigantic castle crumbles.
"I believe here's your catch!" Edgar yells and grabs Terra, "Run!"
They spread out, running for their lives. Only when they are quarter a mile from the castle did they dare to stop, and look back behind their shoulders.
The castle is gone; there is a big, bottomless hole in the ground, where the castle stood before.
"The castle we saw it was just an illusion held together by the four seals " Locke murmured.
"What do we do?" Marle asks.
"C'mon. Let's get to the bottom of this." Cloud start to walk back.
Marle looks at the bottomless pit and swallowed: "Do we have to?"
"With Lakefroth to deal with, do we have a choice?" Crono asks, and took her hand, "C'mon, we can do this."
Silently, they walk back to the hole and start climbing down.
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