A Melting Of A Heart Chapter 3
By Key Mima
Sunev received another blow from the Masamune and couldn't take it anymore. She had fared quite well against Frog and Crono and Robo but now it was just too hard. She collapsed on the floor, bloody and exhausted and lay there panting, wondering if she was going to survive.
"Good job," she whispered to Crono as he walked over her to ascend the stairs she lay at the foot of. His eyes filled with pity and he would have knelt by her and helped her were it not for a curt reprimand from Frog.
"You'll not help her, my boy," he said shortly. "She worked for the enemy and it is the enemy's treatment with which we shall treat her. Let us be on our way."
"I'm sorry," Crono said, and after a moment of gazing at her, he too went on his way.
Sunev lay there for a while, listening to the sounds of battle above her. There was no way she could have prevented this. She didn't want Magus to be hurt and certainly didn't want herself to be hurt, but it had all happened anyway. Then she thought of the portal that would soon be taking them their separate ways. She needed to get up there and help Magus if she could. And if she couldn't, that gate might take her back home.
She crawled up the stairs, ignoring the pain in her stomach and the blood that flowed from a wound in her side. Some of the beasts in the castle who had went into hiding came out and helped her on her way. She forced a smile and nodded at them, and then she found the top of the stairs. She fell down the stairs that led to Magus's quarters, and stopped to cry and catch her breath at the bottom.
The battle seemed to have ended, so Magus must already have been defeated. She pushed open the doors with her last strength and leaned on the heavy oak to support herself.
"Magus..." she sputtered. He jerked his head up and gasped. He knelt on the floor clutching a wound.
"Sunev!" he cried. He forced himself to his feet and ran to take her in his arms. Frog and Crono gaped at them.
"I'm sorry for failing you..." she whispered.
"No, no. Fate failed me today; everything did. It wasn't your fault."
As he reached to brush a tear from her eye, the ground beneath them began to phase in and out of vision. A gate appeared in the center of the room and grew to an enormous size.
"What the hell?!" Crono yelped. "A gate?"
And with that, Sunev passed out into a nice blackness...
Sunev woke up to the sound of wind howling around her. It was cold, very cold. She knew where this was... But where was Magus? She called out his name.
He wasn't there, but he seemed to have made a small bed for her out of brush and changed his bloody clothes. Her bloody clothes were welded to her body it seemed, and she wondered how long she had been unconscious. A crunching of snow outside the entrance to the cave brought her back to reality.
"Thank God! Magus..." she said as the person entered the cave. Her vision was blurry and she blinked her eyes a couple of times. He made no answer, just grunted. When her eyes came back into focus, she saw that it wasn't Magus at all. It was a huge Beast looking for food. "Holy crap..." she said, and sat totally still.
It entered the cave and sniffed around. Sunev sat stone-still and tried to calm herself and even her breathing. It bumbled over to her and sniffed her. It appeared to take no interest and moved on. When it was about nine feet away from her, it paused and kicked back its feet. She managed to shriek and jump away, and the hooves hit and shattered the wall she had been leaning against instead of her. She ran to the door and bumped into Magus, who extended his arm and gracefully fried the Beast.
"You could have easily used your power, he said, looking down at her. "But I don't even really care about that anymore. Do you know where we are?"
"Zeal," she replied. "Or rather, the land beneath Zeal."
"How do you even know about Zeal?" he asked.
"I know a lot of things."
"Like you must be happy out of your mind to see your sister again. And those clothes you're wearing are imitation prophet clothes you're going to wear into the kingdom to trick the queen, et cetera, et cetera."
"What are you?" Magus asked quietly. "How do you even know?" Sunev really didn't feel like explaining, so she waved a hand and briefly outlined how she was from a different planet and knew all about this one.
"I can't believe it," Magus said when she was finished. "I knew you were odd but I just assumed that you were a freak of some sort."
"Oh, thanks," Sunev laughed. "I'm not half the freak you are." They both grinned and then Magus pulled something out of his cape.
"I got you something," he said, and handed her a bottle of full tonic.
"Arigatou gozaimashita!" she cried and drank it deeply. Her wounds seemed to radiate warmth and heal themselves.
"Huh?" Magus asked.
"Another language from my planet. It means 'thank you.' "
"Oh," he said. "Well, I got you some new Zealean clothes for you to wear. You're to be my apprentice."
"Really?" Sunev asked. "You're so cool! Thank you!" She took the clothes and found a nook in the cave with an underground spring to wash in and changed into her new clothes. She came out and modeled them off for Magus.
"Uh huh," he said blandly with a cruel smile, knowing it would bother her if he wasn't ecstatic. She pouted but said nothing. "Well then. Let's get going. I can't wait to get back home."
Sunev was awestruck the minute they landed on Zeal's green grounds in a way she hadn't even anticipated. It was simply the most beautiful thing she had ever seen in her life. The lands around her were green and pulsing with life and energy and the continent that contained the palace was breathtaking. Water flowed off its sides like liquid turquoise and Kajar and the castle were two buildings seemigly crafted out of ivory and the finest jewels.
"I thought you said you knew this place," Magus said, studying her amazed expression.
"Oh, no," she said, sounding childish. "Not like this..."
They walked for a while until they reached Enhasa, which was open to anyone who came its way. When they entered it, Magus pulled his hood over his head and seemed to ignore everyone there. They found the woman selling goods, and bought some tonics and a tent. As they made their way back to the door, something rubbed up against Sunev's ankle. She looked down to see Alfador, Janus's pet cat. It mewed sweetly and Magus looked down at it. She heard him gasp and he promptly turned away.
"Alfador! Where are you..." Janus scrambled up to the kitten and pulled it into his arms, where it purred contentedly. He glared bloody swords at Sunev. "Don't try to take Alfador away," he said angrily.
"I didn't I was-"
"Go away, Earthbound."
Sunev glanced at Magus, who seemed to have found something interesting on the far wall, because he wasn't paying any attention to her and the boy. It might have been... painful. She frowned at Janus and took off out the door.
Magus heard Sunev leave the room and stayed inside.
"Aren't you going, too?" Janus asked, stroking the soft lavender fur of his only friend other than his sister. Magus turned to the boy and studied him. It was exactly as he had been as a child... or was him as a child, rather. His heart hurt just by looking into the boy's blue eyes and his throat felt parched. He wanted to touch the boy's hair to see if it was all real, but it would cause a time paradox. So he calmly said, "Yes" and followed after Sunev.
She waited outside, floating on the air with her legs crossed.
"Is it true that I'm just considered an Earthbound one here?" she asked.
"You don't have magic, do you?" he answered idly. He began to walk to the next Land Bridge.
"I... Well... No, but I thought I was still considered to have some sort of special power."
"You do. They've never seen the likes of it here, though."
Sunev shut up about it when they reached the Land Bridge, and shut up the whole way to the next Sky Gate. When they reached the top of the steps to the palace at the top of Zeal, Magus felt a sort of swelling in his heart. He would see Schala again... Finally. He had waited too long... But, when he did see her, he wouldn't be able to hug and tell her how much he loved her like he wanted to. Did he know what love was? Yeah... He loved Alfador and Schala. And he had loved his mother. And... Yeah. He knew what love was, in a sense. He looked up at the pillars and sighed. He glanced over at Sunev who had an odd look on her face. Was that... Hate? What was it? They both started forward and pushed open a door...
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