Specter of the Past Chapter 8
"I have to go see her right now!" Magus said as he paced around the room. "Where's her castle?"
"It's in Harmony, about five miles from here, but you won't find her there," Nova said.
Magus immediately stopped, looked at Nova, and shouted, "Why not?"
Gaia looked over at Magus and said, "Relax. Queen Schala often goes on trips across our world. She is currently on a trip and will be back soon. You can remain here and stay with us until she comes back."
"How long will she be gone?" Magus asked.
Gaia responded, "Not long, her trips usually aren't very big."
Magus sat down, took a deep breath, and said, "What's she like now? Has she changed much? Tell me everything about her."
Akria looked across the table and said, "She's very pretty and knows how to take care of herself. She's also very nice and loves talking with her people. I bet she's the same gentle person you used to know."
Magus didn't respond, he just sat there and stared at the table.
Lucca looked around the room at everyone and didn't want to break the pleasant moment of silence, but said, "I hate to say this now, but we had better get going. We've been gone from our time too long and people might be worrying."
"You're right," Toma said as he stood up. "My sister is probably having a fit."
"So," Nova said, "you're all headed to the gate that leads back to Magus's castle?"
"By the way," Marle said, "that reminds me, I have something to ask you. Do you know how the gate got there?"
"I put it there," Gaia said. "Schala wants those with magic to try to create gates to other times so she can travel to meet more people and find Janus, or, as you call him, Magus. I wanted to try to find the biggest concentration of magic, and Magus's castle was the biggest I could find."
"So," Magus said, "Schala was looking for me."
"Yes," said Akria, "and now that you're here, she won't have to look any more."
"We'd better get going," Crono said. "We'll come back in a couple day to see how things are going."
As Crono, Lucca, Marle, and Toma walked out the door, they exchanged goodbyes with everyone.
They continued out of the house to the gate. Soon they were coming out of Magic Cave having just finished their journey from Neo Zeal.
Then, Toma turned to them and said, "Well, this is where I leave you. I'm going south before I return home. Since I didn't find anything in Neo Zeal I have to find other leads as to where the Dragon's Egg is."
"Okay," said Marle, "see you later."
Everyone else said their goodbyes to Toma and he left. Then they continued on their way and soon they were in Leene Square.
"I'm going to go home," Lucca said. "You can take Marle home, Crono."
"Oh no," Crono said.
Marle asked, "What's the matter?"
"Well, you remember what happened the last time I had to escort her home in this kind of situation."
"I don't think you will be arrested this time," Lucca said.
They all laughed then they left Leene Square. Lucca continued on home and Crono and Marle left for Guardia Castle. When they reached the doors, a soldier came out.
With panic in his voice, he said, "Princess Nadia! Thank goodness you're home! We've been looking all over for you!"
"I've been on a little trip with Crono," Marle said. Then she asked, "What happened?"
"It's your father," the soldier said.
"My father? What's wrong with him?"
"The doctors aren't sure what happened to him, but he's dying."
"Dying?!" shouted Marle, and with those words, she ran up to her father's room.
The doors to the King's bedroom creaked as they slowly opened. Marle stepped inside to find her father, lying in bed, with the Chancellor standing next to him.
When the King saw Marle, he said to the Chancellor, "Could you leave us alone for a moment?" His voice was very soft since he was so weak.
"Yes sir," the Chancellor said solemnly as he left the room.
"Daddy..." Marle said as she approached her father, not sure what to say at a time like this.
"Come, my daughter. Sit next to me," said the King.
Marle went and sat on a stool by her father's bedside. She grabbed her father's hand and held it tight as she said, "Daddy, I...I..." She couldn't say any more because she burst into tears.
The King patted Marle's hand to try to calm her down. "I remember sitting by your mother's bedside in the same situation. You were so young, but you had so much fun that everyone you knew was here. You kept saying, 'it's so fun having all my favorite people here.' You didn't realize at what price it came. When you ran into the room to give your mother a kiss, I know she went peacefully knowing that you were so happy.
"She wrote a poem for you before she died. She told me that when you are mature enough I should read it to you, and I would like to share it with you now:
My time grows short, I realize,
The end of me is near;
But all the time that I have left
I'll hold you close and dear.
I wish I had more time with you
To see your smiling face,
But I've been told and now I know
That heaven has my place.
Even though I'll leave this world,
We'll never be apart.
I won't be right in front of you,
But deep inside your heart.
This is how I'll remember you,
Your face shining like a pearl.
Know that I'll always love you
Because you're my little girl."
Marle tried drying her face with her hands, but there were so many tears that such action was futile.
Trying not to sob too hard, Marle said, "What am I supposed to do without you, daddy?"
The King lightly tightened his grip around his daughter's hand and said, "I'm sure you will manage. You helped save time, which shows a lot about you. You're a very strong person and I am very proud of you. Once you and Crono are married you will be able to rule this kingdom together and I have a lot of faith in you two."
"Daddy..." Marle said softly.
"I love you."
"I love you, too, my dear Nadia." And with those words he turned his head to the side and died.
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