A Melting of a Heart Chapter 7


By Key Mima

Magus stood firmly in front of the queen and Dalton, staring at each of them unwaveringly and without fear. He wasn't exactly sure what they were saying though, because for all the might with which he was looking at them, he wasn't paying any attention. What Sunev had told him earlier had totally shattered his dreams, and deeply hurt his ego. Before, he had been proud and sure of himself, confident to the extreme. But now, he had doubts about his power, doubts about his entire ability. Sunev's delivery of the news hadn't helped to soften the blow, either. She could have said "You're a pathetic weakling" and shot him, and it would have had the same effect. He sighed softly and tuned in partly to the conversation.
"...So the construction is finally done? Then we can begin within the week! Zeal will have its immortality, just as it deserves. So, where are your evildoers, prophet?" The queen focused her blazing glare on him. He felt sort of... apprehensive with her looking at him like that. He guessed it was the same sadistic look little boys gave bugs as they burnt them to death with their magnifying glasses.
Magus had no answer to this. He had absolutely no idea where Glenn and Crono were, but he expected them to come soon. Sunev had confirmed that they would be there, it was only a matter of when. And they really needed to step on it.
"Your Majesty, the evildoers have not arrived yet, but I expect they will... Very soon."
"You remember what I said I would do to you if your predictions were incorrect, yes?"
"Of course, Your Majesty." Magus said, smiling defiantly at her. She stared at him a moment, then brought herself down to stand in front of him, still looking. It was then that Magus started worrying.
She reached her hand up, the hand he had remember as helping him clean his hair when he was young, the hand that played catch with him as a boy, and pulled off his hood. Second time today, Magus thought, grimacing irritably. She let the hood drop to the floor, then brought her hand up a second time to slap him across the face. Dalton burst into smothered laughter and the queen took her seat at the throne once more.
"That's for letting your predictions take too long, prophet."
Magus, who hadn't flinched when she had slapped him, nodded curtly and put his hood back over his head.
The door made a whirring sound and disappeared, letting his older sister come through its opening. Schala stepped in, and froze when she saw him there.
"Come in, Schala! I've been expecting you. You're... late, as a matter of fact."
"Sorry, Mother. I was with Janus."
"And you consider that an excuse? That boy has nothing to offer Zeal. For all I care, they could lock him up and throw away the key."
Magus and Schala both frowned at the queen, but said nothing.
"Well since you're late, I'll have Dalton update you since I don't want to waste my energy going over a subject that we've already made clear."
Magus frowned more deeply. Schala nodded to Dalton who took off on a speech about how the Ocean Palace was finally finished and how she would have to work everything out with the Mammon Machine to give them their overdue immortality. Schala seemed to have all the life sucked out of her as she heard this news, and looked considerably older in a bad way. He watched her sympathetically, and decided to have a talk with her after this brief meeting.
As they all got up to go to dinner, Magus put a hand on his older sister's shoulder. She tensed at the touch and turned to look up at him.
He opened his mouth to speak, expecting to tell her how everything would be alright. How they would all be fine. How Zeal was in no trouble. He opened his mouth to speak, and nothing came out. He looked into her frightened eyes and felt the same fright creep up on him. Since no words could be said to make the situation better, he embraced her tightly.
Hesitating for a moment, Schala nearly pulled away. But this was her brother, no matter how different he may have seemed. This was her brother, and she hugged him back with all her might.

Sunev made her way back to the palace after her encounter with Frog and hurried to the dining room, where dinner was already served. Upon her entrance, nearly everyone in the room looked up.
"Dear apprentice," Queen Zeal began, a glint of anger in her eye. Sunev sighed and waited for the lecture. "Do you not enjoy dinner?"
"I enjoy dinner, Your Majesty."
"Then why do you insist on being late to it?" Sunev frowned and Janus caught her eye. He watched her with sympathy and nodded to her when their eyes met.
"I didn't mean to be late, I just..."
"Shut up." Queen Zeal closed her eyes and started whispering something. A spell! Sunev had enough time to gasp and turn around when a huge force slammed her in the back, knocking the wind out of her and making blood spurt from her nose. She fell to her knees and cupped her hand beneath her nose to catch the blood. She started to cry softly, and heard Zeal's mocking laugh.
"That should teach you not to disapprove of the cooking in my country, girl. Go to your room."
Sunev nodded into her hand and staggered to her feet, looking back at the horrified faces on Janus and Schala. Then, she pushed the door open and ran out.
After changing her bloodstained dress and washing her face, Sunev felt well enough to leave her room again. She didn't feel scared or meek and she did not, by any means, feel fear toward the queen. She was pissed.
She left the palace then, going to the woods on the edge of the main continent. After brooding there for a while and listening to the night insects chirp and sing, she began to excercise her powers.
She picked a flower from the ground with her mind and pulled the petals off of it, one by one. She was tempted to chant "He loves me; he loves me not", but instead changed the words to "Hurt the queen; hurt her not".
"Hurt the queen; hurt her not. Hurt the queen; hurt her not. Hurt the queen..." She pulled off the last petal. "Hurt the queen, eh? I'd be delighted."
Sunev let out a loud battle cry. It echoed through the night, making her shiver with anticipation. Feeling excitement pulse through her veins, she let her powers reach through the trees and flow off the side of the land.
"You stupid bitch!" she cried, laughter pulling at her insides. "You think that you can just treat everyone like they're some sort of animal! Some kind of... freak! But there's no way you're getting past me, you damned mummy! Immortality will merely make you more of a seasoned douchebag!" Sunev giggled at herself and started to lift with her mind. Feeling a crazy rush of exhileration, she jerked her head violently, pulling every tree in the forest out of the ground and letting them float around her. After looking at them, their bare roots dropping clumps of earth into the holes they had once occupied, Sunev again moved her head and threw them all off the side of the continent.
Clapping her hands together a few times, Sunev looked around at the now barren forest. She smiled to herself calmly, and with that, started back to her room.

Schala rubbed her temples and talked with Janus after the horrible ordeal with Sunev at dinner. From what she was gathering, her brother hated their mother. And she was starting to wonder if she did too. She walked to Janus, who looked equally disturbed, and bent down to talk to him, eye to eye.
"I have something to give you, Janus. It's an amulet. It will protect you if I'm ever gone."
"You'll never be gone, Schala. I won't let you be." Schala smiled and hugged him. "And if you're gone, then Sunev can protect me, right?"
"Sunev is an apprentice, Janus. We don't know how long she'll be around."
"Well..." Janus sniffled and looked up at the ceiling. He had nothing more to say. Schala forced a smile and hugged him once more. But a voice from the door snapped her back to reality. Her grim reality.
"Miss Schala, the queen wishes to see you."
"I'll be right along..." Schala looked down once more at her brother and smiled. Her smiled back, and she turned away. As she walked to the top of the stairwell, she saw three other people.
"Oh! And who might you be?" she asked, smiling politely.
"Please, Miss Schala. If we're late, I'd end up like that apprentice girl." Schala grimaced, and followed along.
As she entered the throne room, the queen looked up.
"Hello Schala, I see you've started to practice the art of being on time." Schala had no reply to this. "Well, in any case, the Ocean Palace is ready to use now, and we're going to do so as soon as possible. I hope you're ready to-"
The door opened again, and the three people she had seen in her room appeared. Janus -the older Janus- looked up and smiled victoriously.
"Your Majesty, these are the evildoers I warned you about."
The three looked surprised, and Schala tried to judge their character. The one at the front, the one with spiky red hair, didn't seem to look too threatening to her. He looked more confused than anything. The green one seemed a little... odd. He looked like a giant frog. And his expression was one of confusion as well. The other one just looked like a normal girl who couldn't pose a threat to anything.
The queen raised her head slowly and studied them mercilessly for a few moments. The room was completely silent. Then, she spoke, loud and clear.
"Are they, prophet? How interesting." She stared the spiky one straight in the eye. "Do you come to stop my Ocean Palace? Well, you're too late. Dalton, give them someone to play with."
Dalton smiled, raised his arm, and called "Golem!"
Schala disappeared then, and the newcomers were left to deal with their enemy.
Part 8 to Come When I Get my Lazy Ass Around to It!

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