The Next Generation Part 17
By Krazy Sam
Guares grinned in glee and whirled around. Excellent two down, five to go, he murmured. Still cloaked, he carefully selected another dagger from a stone wall lined with weapons.
Let me come with you! a voice called from the doorway of the miniature arsenal. Guares pulled back the hood of the cloak, revealing bronze skin, long hair that was the exact same color, and startling ice blue eyes. He closed his eyes slowly and shook his head, his hair moving aside, allowing a strange tattooed symbol to peek through.
No. Its bad enough that I almost got caught. Youll only ensure my doom, he answered. Hearing an exasperated sigh from the doorway, he shrugged. Laeri, remember the cell in 3057?
Laeri stepped forward and brushed her long fiery red hair back. I wont be a burden just let me help you!
Guares shook his head. I want you to remember the cell, Laeri. Laeri obediently shut her eyes and shuddered.
Thats one picture that I dont need to see again she muttered. Guares nodded.
That was your fault. If you hadnt come along, we wouldnt have gotten caught.
You could have just left me to die, but you had to come rescue me. Why not just save yourself? Laeri shot back. Guares staggered back.
If they had taken you prisoner, all of our information would have leaked, he shot back. Laeri grinned and stepped closer.
You know that I would have taken that poison I had hidden under my cloak or killed all of them. I just think that you were afraid to lose me, she smirked. Guares narrowed his eyes.
What makes you say that? he growled. Laeri grinned in triumph.
Kill me, she demanded.
What?!? Guares shrieked, his voice raising several octaves. Laeri spread her arms.
If Im so unimportant to you, just cast me away! she called. Guares pulled a long dagger from the wall and walked up to her.
If you insist he whispered. He pressed the dagger against her throat and shut his eyes. Laeri laughed.
You never shut your eyes for any other murder against men, women, or even children! Why is this time different? she cackled. Guares lowered the dagger and allowed it to clatter to the ground.
I cant, he muttered. Laeri stepped forward and placed a hand on his shoulder. He looked up and stared into her eyes- one a striking emerald, the other an unusual shade of purple. You know that I cant, Laeri
Laeri pursed her full lips tightly and raised an eyebrow. Why? I never thought that an assassin had a heart.
Guares lowered his head. I want you alive
Laeri smirked and raised an eyebrow. No, you need me alive. Guaress mouth dropped open.
No! I just need your abilities.
My knowledge of the timestream, you mean? Laeri scoffed. Guares nodded.
Ill make a deal with you, Laeri began, Ill show you how to teleport to the different eras, as long as I get to go on this next mission. Guares sighed in defeat.
Very well, but Im not going to save you if you get caught, he muttered. Laeri smirked.
Yes, you will.
Lana yawned and cautiously opened one eye. The sunlight was streaming through her window, and no one would have guessed what horrors the past two days held.
Father a small voice whimpered. Lana sat bolt upright in her bed and looked around. It was her room, but where did that voice come from? She glanced around the room, and finally looked beside her bed. Maro lay there curled up in a ball, asleep. Father, Mother
Lana sighed. When did Maro get in there? She remembered going to his room to check on him, but
Mother! Father? Are you there? Maro called in his sleep. Lana choked back a sob. The whole ordeal was proving to be too much for him
Maro she finally whispered. No answer. Maro, wake up!
Mother? Is that you? Maro asked. Lana sighed.
Its Lana. Maro, wake up, she urged. Maro tossed away.
Mother? Father? NOOOOO! he cried, howling at the end. Lana grunted and her fist came down on his bare back. Maros head snapped up and he winced. Ugh ?
Maro, its me Lana whispered. Maro rolled over and stared into Lanas eyes.
I had the most horrible nightmare, he murmured. Lana rolled her eyes.
I think that the whole house knows now, she voiced. Maro blushed.
I talked? he squeaked. Lana shook her head.
You screamed, she shot back. Maro covered his mouth and gasped.
I thought that I he looked around. How did I get here? Lana laughed and lay back in her own bed.
I have no idea. I woke up and found you there. Dont ask me how! she grumbled. Maro shrugged.
Laeri gazed at the wall of weapons and furrowed her brow in thought. Dagger, axe, or sword
Guares stamped his foot impatiently. Choose one! Laeri spun around and glared at her counterpart.
Excuse me, but I could just as easily kill you without the aid of a blade, she threatened. Guares thought for a moment , and finally sighed.
Take a sword. Our targets guard is up, so you wont be able to get in close range, he murmured. Laeri selected a long sword and smiled.
Thank you, she answered. She raised an eyebrow. Do you treat all of your superiors this way?
Guares lowered his gaze. What do you mean?
Nothing, except that its clear that Im in charge of you. Do you treat all of your superiors this nicely?
No, Guares murmured, shaking his head. Laeri smiled.
Thats all I wanted to know, she replied. Shall we go?
Back at the End of Time, Sari frowned, staring into the swirling mist. Something was most definitely wrong
Sari turned around and raised an eyebrow. Yes, Stal?
Stal blushed. Im sorry Ive been acting like a lost puppy following you around and such I just wanted to say that Im sorry.
Sari nodded. Apology accepted.
Stal raised both of his eyebrows in surprise. Thats it? No kind words? This is the first time youve seen me in nine years and all you have to say is Hi, Stal; Apology accepted? He threw up his arms in frustration.
Sari smirked. Keep your temper, she retorted simply. Stal groaned and stalked off.
That wasnt very nice, Kash noted from beside her. Sari smiled.
You dont understand, she sighed. Kash shook his head.
You ought to treat him better, Sari. He sees you as a lot more than you think he does, he warned. Sari raised an eyebrow.
I know. Im the telepathic one, remember? she retorted. Kash shook his head.
Why give him the cold shoulder? he finally asked. Sari sighed.
I have more important things on my mind than trivial matters such as teenage infatuation, she murmured. Kashs eyes widened.
Like what? he questioned. Sari faced him and her expression grew dim.
Someone close to you is in grave danger, she murmured.
Guares took a deep breath and held it. Dont send me into a rock, okay? he muttered. Laeri laughed.
I know what Im doing, she shot back. She raised her arms, and the pair suddenly disappeared in a flash of light.
Lana sighed as Maro gathered his belongings. Are you sure that you want to go back to the castle? she asked nervously. Maro nodded stubbornly.
Positive, he replied. Lana shrugged.
I dont think that you should she warned. Maro shook his head.
I must get Fathers Will in hopes that I may locate his friends and alert them to their claims he murmured. Lana shook her head.
You can at least wait. Its a stupid idea wait a little longer please? she begged. Maro shook his head.
No. We go today, he answered. Lana frowned.
The freezing wind blew fiercely, and Guares gasped at the sudden cold. Where is this?
Laeri laughed. Too cold for you? she taunted. Guares frowned, ice forming on his small mustache.
The question is if a woman like you can stand it, he shot back. Laeri grinned.
Im stronger than you think, she retorted, in fact, Im not what you think at all.
Guares shivered, half with cold, the other half with fear. What are you?
Laeri shook her head. Im a Mystic magician, she called over the howling wind. Guares shivered once more.
You seem to be pure evil, Laeri he called. Lets just get this job done he pressed his hand to his forehead, and vanished from sight. Laeri shook her head.
You should talk, she whispered, pressing her index finger to her forehead, also disappearing.
Sari nodded. There was most definitely something going on
Sari? Olana called. Sari whirled around and smiled.
Yes, Olana? she answered back. Olana stared at the ground.
Whos in trouble now? she asked. Sari grimaced, and Olana blushed. I just want to help them please? Kash turned to face Olana and nodded in agreement.
Id like to know whats going on Ill go, too, he added. Sari shrugged.
Im not so sure, but I believe that we can get there through a series of gates she murmured. Olana furrowed her brow in thought.
Isnt the Epoch working yet? she asked softly. Sari shook her head.
It was supposed to be finished three days ago, but no one will be working on it for the next two weeks due to the King and Queens death, she explained. Kash nodded.
I understand he murmured. Olana shrugged.
I see she added. She frowned in disgust. Who would kill the King and Queen? They did no harm she cried out. Kash grimaced.
The real question is, if the Queen knew curative and revival magic, why didnt she just revive the King? he pointed out. Sari raised an eyebrow.
With a wound that deep and in a vital area like that? There would be no way she could revive him then she answered. Kash turned away.
Okay, how about Luccas invention? How come the revive potion wasnt used?
Sari shook her head. By the time Lucca found out about it, it was too late. For some reason, it has to be used right away for it to work. I wonder why?
Olana shrugged. I have no idea
Sari stamped her foot. Can we go now? We have to get moving right now!
Guares gazed around. Where is this person?
Laeri shook her head. Hes not at home, thats for sure. I dont sense him there she looked around and finally smiled. The North Cape
Maro opened the large gate and sucked in a deep breath. Here goes Lana sighed.
Why couldnt you wait? she groaned. Maro shrugged.
I guess I want to find any clues left behind, he muttered. Lana moaned in exasperation.
You need to learn to leave things to the Royal Guard, she argued. Maro shook his head.
I have to know who did it! he cried. Lana sighed.
Why? What satisfaction would it bring you? Its pointless, Maro; stop this madness! she screamed, throwing her arms up.
Maros eyes went wide in shock. Are you deserting me, Lana? he shouted back. He noticed a flicker of sadness in her eyes, and it was quickly replaced by anger.
Yes! she shrieked, storming out the castle, leaving Maro standing in the doorway with tears shimmering in his eyes.
Magus turned to look at the deep blue waves, sighing. Schala I never should have let you leave that day he whispered. He took in a deep breath and remembered what happened almost too long ago to remember
The black wind howls, Schala! Janus cried. Schala, many years younger, shook her head.
You feel it too? she murmured comfortingly, Dont worry Itll be all right. Janus lowered his head. Schala sighed wistfully and removed a shiny silver amulet from her neck. I wish I could be with you always, but mother has other plans she murmured. Janus fidgeted nervously.
Dont go, Schala he begged. Please, dont go Schala lowered her gaze and shook her head.
But Schala he argued as one of the Zeal servants walked in.
Miss Schala, the Queen requests your presence at the Ocean Palace, she called shyly. Schala turned to face her.
Just a minute she voiced. She nodded and walked over to the servant. Suddenly, three strangers came into focus. Oh! Who might you be? she cried out. The teenage boy in front, with bright red spiked hair and strange clothes opened his mouth to speak.
Miss Schala, if Im late, Ill be punished! the servant cried in fear. Schalas eyes snapped back to the servant.
I she began to argue, but thought better of it. Oh, all right She walked out the door, keeping her eyes trained on the strangers.
Schala Janus whispered. A tiny mew was heard down by his feet, and he gazed at his tiny purple cat, Alfador.
One of the strangers strode into the room and Janus turned away, fingering the strange amulet. The boy tapped Janus on the shoulder, and he frowned in disgust.
Go away, he snapped. He looked back over his shoulder, and saw the boy with red hair try to pet Alfador, who immediately hissed. Dont waste your time. Alfador only likes me.
The boy turned to his friends in the doorway and began to leave. Janus smiled softly, glad to be rid of them. Now he can make his attempt to go into the palace and bring Schala back
Magus wiped away a small tear, remembering that day. He turned back to the waves, and they pounded angrily against the smooth cape, sending a spray of freezing water up into the air.
Well if it isnt Sir Magus! Traitors like you deserve a beating! a familiar voice called from behind him. Magus flinched and his eyes glowed a deep red.
Flea! he cried, whirling around. The woman in front of him grinned, but she didnt look like Flea at all! First off, Fleas hair was a deeper red, and this woman didnt look Mystic
Surprised? she called. You should be. You thought I died, didnt you? I just escaped, just like Slash. Ozzie, however she laughed bitterly. He was stupid.
Magus narrowed his eyes as the man beside her fidgeted nervously. Slash, I presume? he snarled. The man raised an eyebrow.
Excuse me? he asked, confused. Flea shook her head.
I dont know what happened to Slash, she murmured. He left one day and never came back not that I care or anything.
Laeri, what are you saying? the man asked. Flea raised an eyebrow.
Oh, Magus, this is Guares. Now that you are properly introduced, shall we get on with business? A blinding flash of light surrounded Flea, and when it subsided, the Flea that Magus knew and came to respect stood in front of him, Her auburn hair was neatly plaited and held back, and her once different colored eyes were both a deep shade of blue.
Magus snorted. Time to finish what I started twenty-four years ago! he called. He rushed at Flea and wrapped one arm around her neck in a choke hold. She twisted out of his grasp and slammed her elbow into is stomach. As he doubled over in pain, Guares ran behind him and drew his sword. Magus sensed what was about to happen, and he grabbed Guaress right wrist, causing the sword to drop.
What!? Guares cried. Flea stepped back and smiled, putting her right hand to her lips. She kissed her fingers lightly, and held her palm out, blowing a large ball of fire at Magus.
Badly scorched, Magus pressed his fingers to his temple, chanting softly. Bring down the heavens he thrust his arms upward, and a comet streaked through the sky, landing on Flea. The rock soon disappeared, allowing everyone to see how badly she was hurt.
Ugh she groaned, rolling over. She climbed to her knees and smirked. Is that the best you can do? she taunted. Magus raised an eyebrow.
Works, doesnt it? he pointed out. Guares stepped forward from behind Magus and picked up the fallen sword.
Flea smiled. But its not enough she retorted as Guares drew his arm back. He began to push the sword forward when Magus whirled around at the last second. His eyes went wide as the long sword plunged deep into his left arm.
Uncle! a voice called from behind the fight taking place. Magus rolled his head over and smiled softly.
Kash ! he called. Kash rushed forward and drew his whip.
Whats going on, Uncle? Kash cried out. Sari dashed to the cape from behind him and suddenly stopped short in her tracks. Her eyes narrowed and darkened noticeably.
You! she screamed. Flea whirled around and raised an eyebrow.
Who are you? she asked softly. Sari ran forward and looked Flea in the eyes.
Its been a long time, Laeri she murmured. Flea smiled.
So you know me by my real name, but do I know you? she asked. Sari nodded.
July twelfth, 598 she murmured. Fleas eyes widened. You remember now, dont you? You remember what you did to me, right? You left me for dead! I thought you were my friend
Flea bowed her head. Im sorry Mio, that cant be you
Sari nodded as she circled Flea. So you go by Flea now? What drove you to that? Was it your guilty conscience telling you that you were nothing more than a flea in this world? she asked menacingly. Flea shook her head.
A nickname given to me by Ozzie, she murmured. You remember Ozzie, dont you?
Sari nodded, stopping in front of Flea. Guares could only stare, openmouthed. That fat coward? Yeah, I remember him.
Flea narrowed her eyes. Why are you with these humans?
Im a human now. I may have been a Mystic, but you know of the curse In fact, I believe that you were working in Layiths castle, right?
Flea nodded. I was the court magician, she confirmed.
Olana suddenly burst onto the cape, her face red. Is everyone okay? she asked breathlessly. Sari turned to her and soon faced Flea again, growling in her throat.
Just fine she growled. Fleas eyes widened.
Forgive me, friend. Please, join me so this awful wound between us can heal! she offered. Sari laughed.
After I fell off the side of the mountain, you didnt even help me. I called for you for hours, but you never came. Do you think that Id risk it again? she pointed out. Flea turned away.
For once, youre ashamed, Flea, Magus cut in.
Guares narrowed his eyes. Laeri, what should I do to them?
Flea turned back to him and waved her hand slightly. Kill them all.
Sari reached out and her new blue aluminum bat materialized in her hand. She smiled. Thats not very likely.
Guares twirled his sword expertly around his hand. Is that so?
Sari rushed forward, slamming into him bat first. Guares exhaled loudly as the wind was knocked out of him. Olana drew her daggers and dashed straight for Flea. She easily dodged the attack, and drew her sword. Kashs eyes widened and his whip flicked forward, taking the sword with it. Fleas eyes widened, and she smiled, holding out her palm and blowing a ball of fire at him.
Ugh he murmured, scorched. Sari raised an eyebrow.
Is that the best you can do? she taunted. Flea smiled.
You havent seen anything yet, she murmured. Sari grinned and raised her arms.
Neither have you, she growled as a dark ball of heavily compressed Shadow magic flew at Flea. Flea gasped, taken aback by the magic.
Oh, you little she cursed loudly, and Olana raised an eyebrow, taking a break from digging one of her daggers into Guaress leg. Guares took advantage of the situation by sweeping his undamaged leg underneath Olana, tripping her. She yanked her dagger out of Guaress leg and countered with a bolt of lightning.
Flea smiled and mimicked Saris every move, sending the same spell her way. Sari, however, expected it, and she raised her bat. The ball moved toward her at the same speed of one of her own fastballs. Sari swung the bat as hard as she could, and connected, sending the ball back at Flea. She shrieked loudly and raised a hand to her bleeding face.
Laeri! Guares screamed. He ran to her and grasped her hand. Are you all right? Flea frowned angrily and pressed her fingers to her forehead, immediately disappearing. Guares cursed under his breath and did the same.
Cowards! Sari screamed. She narrowed her eyes. Laeri, I know you can hear me! The next time I see you will be your last! Flea suddenly appeared right in front of Sari.
Au Contraire she murmured. The next time you see me will be your last. She disappeared once more and Sari growled, swearing under her breath. Magus stepped forward, clutching his wounded arm.
I wish to thank you, he said softly. Kash nodded.
Thank Sari, he replied. She was the one who sensed your danger.
Sari blushed. Spekkio taught me how to see into the timestream, she whispered modestly. Magus laughed.
All of you, heres a symbol of my appreciation, he voiced. He reached beneath his cape and pulled out a shiny silver amulet. This amulet was given to me by Schala I want you to have it. It should protect you wherever danger lurks, he explained. Kash lowered his head.
This was mothers? he asked softly. Magus nodded.
Its a reminder that shell always be there protecting you, he spoke. Kash nodded and took the amulet gratefully, putting it around his neck.
Sari nodded. Shall we go? she asked. Olana nodded.
We need to see what Maro and Lana are up to, she answered. Saris eyes widened.
Thats right! she gasped. They were heading for the castle when we left for here! She turned and motioned for the others to follow. Thank you for the Amulet, Magus! she called as the three sprinted away.
Maro looked around the castle. Its so empty he murmured, taking notice of the absence of servants, guards, and soldiers. He moved to the throne room and sat down on his fathers throne. Father he sobbed.
Lana moved through Guardia forest as cautiously as she always had, but it didnt seem the same She decided to walk to the clearing where she and Marle had spent countless hours together when her parents were off at some science convention or conference. Still, she saw everything in great detail. The sun streaming through the trees, and the baby rolies trying to act ferocious Lana sighed as she sat down on a hollow log.
Nothing will ever be the same she murmured. She gazed at a dark patch of grass and raised an eyebrow. Whats that ?
No sooner had the words come out of her mouth when a gate began to open on that very spot. Out stepped Sari, Olana, and Kash. Sari heaved a huge sigh of relief when she saw Lana.
There you are! I was beginning to get worried! she cried. Lanas eyes widened.
You all are injured! What happened? she asked worriedly. Sari laughed.
We just got finished driving the assassins away from their new target, she explained. Lana stood up.
Who is it this time? she cried. Sari turned to Kash, who nodded.
It was Magus. It seems that the assassins want to kill the ones who destroyed Lao, she remarked. Lana raised an eyebrow.
Do you know who they are? she questioned. Sari laughed.
Okay, name three people in your past lives who did something unforgivable, she called. Lana furrowed her brow in thought.
I can only think of one and thats Laeri, she answered meekly. Sari nodded.
Thats her, she confirmed. Lana rushed at Sari.
Laeri? My God, I thought my mother killed her! she cried. Sari shook her head.
She escaped. Didnt your mother find something odd about exploding people? she pointed out.
Lana nodded. So that explains her escape. Using an explosion to mask a disappearance So, tell me, did whats-his-name Slash, I believe, escape too?
Sari nodded. Yes, but he went out one day and never returned. I believe that some disgruntled townsperson murdered him but that may not be the case she voiced. Lana shivered.
This is getting so spooky she murmured. Sari suddenly gasped.
Is Maro in the castle? she asked. Lana frowned.
He really should leave things to the Royal Guard, Sari pointed out. Lana sighed in relief.
I thought he was in trouble! she exclaimed. Sari shook her head.
Id better go in there and give him the news. The assassins arent coming back to the castle- their job is finished here.
Guares sputtered in rage. Laeri, why did you give yourself away? he screamed. Laeri filed a nail carefully and stared up at him.
Magus and I had a score to settle. Id rather watch him suffer than kill him quickly, she replied simply. Guares bandaged his wounded leg and glared at her.
What is all this business with that girl with the metal arm? How do you know her? he finally asked. Laeri turned away and finally began to tell him the whole story.
You know how I came from the Middle Ages well, I fought in a long war against the humans- the 400 year war. While fighting, my commanding officer was named Mio. We became war buddies, and in the last sixty years of the war, I left the battles to work in her sisters castle. She also worked there, and we were always joking around- getting on her sisters nerves she laughed, remembering.
Guares raised an eyebrow. What was her sisters name? he questioned. Laeri turned around.
Her name was Layith, she explained. Guares nodded.
Continue, he urged. Laeri nodded.
Well, one day, we were walking in the Dendaro mountains, and she fell off the side. I ran down to help her, but she was trapped under a bunch of boulders, so I believed, and couldnt be heard. I assumed that she was dead and I left. Soon afterward, we decided to attack a village of humans. I was in charge of the army. Imagine my surprise to see Mio standing there, leading the humans against us! I couldnt believe that it was her. After all, the humans knew of our friendship, and they thought that I wouldnt fight them if Mio were leading them. I always thought that a human dressed up as a Mystic but Im getting off track.
Guares nodded simply. Go on.
It really was Mio. When I dragged her back to the castle, Layith recognized her and found that she wasnt wearing a disguise. Then, she was sentenced to a torture more horrible than death itself. When she turned sixty, she would begin to get younger each year, until she would disappear and be born as a human. When it was time for the Mystic Adolescent sickness, she would remember everything about her past lives. Also, since she was in love with one of the human villagers, the first man outside of her family that she would kiss would die. However, if a person were dead or dying, it wouldnt work.
Is she dangerous? Guares asked. Laeri nodded.
I believe she is.
What why were you surprised to see her alive? he asked. Laeri turned away.
In hopes of relieving Mio of the torture, I pushed her off the side of Truce Canyon, she murmured meekly. I ignored her cries, and left her for dead
Maro stepped outside of Guardia Castle. Are you sure they wont come back? he asked softly. Lana nodded.
Positive. Come on, lets go back to my house she murmured. Sari nodded.
Ill let you two recuperate for a while. Well visit periodically, and if you feel ready to come back on the quest, well let you. Until then, stay in this time period. Well take care of things from here, Sari called as she opened the Guardia Forest Gate.
Lana sighed. All right
Shes close I can feel it
Deep in Heckran Cave, once thought to be completely deserted, a lone figure lay in thought. He turned over to face the eerily beautiful waterfall and sighed. Standing up, he walked over to an underground stream and stuck his blue hands into the sparkling water. Splashing the water all over his sky-colored skin, he dried himself off with a ragged cloth. Drawing his sword, he then tossed the cloth up and split it evenly down the middle.
Go To Chapter 18
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