Specter of the Past Chapter 9
The next few days in the Guardia Kingdom were some of the darkest they had ever seen. Everyone mourned the loss of possible one of the greatest kings they had ever had.
Royal law said that the King's heir to the throne would be his first-born son, but he didn't have any son. Royal law also stated that the Chancellor would run the kingdom until the Princess was married. This hurried the plans for Crono and Marle's wedding.
Marle emerged from the forest east of Guardia Castle, where the King was buried just north of the Cathedral ruins. By her side was Crono. They were both sharing an umbrella because it was raining.
It had been three days since the King's burial and four days since his death.
"Crono?" Marle asked. Those were the first words spoken since they entered the forest that day.
"Yes?" Crono responded gently.
Marle just stared blankly at the ground as she asked, "Where do we go from here?"
Crono tightened his grip with the one arm he had around her and responded, "What do you mean?"
Marle just continued her gaze at the ground as she said, "What are we supposed to do? You haven't had any royal training and I don't think I'm ready to become a queen. I just don't think either of us are ready to run an entire kingdom."
Crono stepped in front of Marle and as his eyes met hers he said, "I'm sure things will work out like they always have. If we have any problems I'm sure the Chancellor can help us. He's worked with your father for many years, and I'm sure he'll work well with us."
Then, Crono put is arms on Marle's shoulders and added, "Besides, we can do anything when we're together."
They just stared into each other's eyes until Marle put her arms around Crono. He held her in a warm embrace, and for that wonderful moment, time stood still for the both of them.
It wasn't long before Marle and Crono were back in the castle. They were cleaning out an empty room where Crono was going to live.
"It's a shame we can't live in that beautiful house by the sea," Marle said as she finished dusting off a shelf in the corner.
Just finishing putting sheets on the new bed, Crono said, "I don't have any complaints about living in a castle, though. We'll still get to have our wedding there, at least."
"Maybe we should have Lucca and her family move into the house," Marle said as she started unpacking things onto the shelf. She didn't get very far because Lucca had ran into the room and interrupted their work.
"I need your help!" Lucca said. She seemed frantic.
Crono went over to Lucca, put his hand on her shoulder, and said, "Calm down. Come sit down and tell us the whole story."
Lucca agreed, sat down on the bed, and took a deep breath. Crono and Marle sat next to her as she said, "I decided to check up on Magus in Neo Zeal myself since you two were busy with the death of the King. I took some readings of the gate in Magus's castle and configured them to the Epoch. Now we can easily access the dimension.
"Once I was done with the modification of the Epoch, I decided to visit it. When I got there, I couldn't believe what I saw. The beautiful world we once knew is now in turmoil. The skies are constantly dark and all the plants and animals are dying. They are trying to survive off their magic, but people are still getting sick.
"I asked Akria what happened. She said that once Schala returned, Magus went to her castle. Ever since then, the castle has been sealed and no one has gotten in. After that, that's when things began to go bad.
"Everyone is blaming Magus, except Akria, Nova, and Gaia. I don't think its Magus, though. We all know that he's not evil at heart. I think it's the person or being claiming to be Schala, or at least a different Schala than we used to know."
"What do you think we should do?" Marle asked.
"I think we need to get Ayla, Robo, and Glenn," said Lucca. "We're going to need all the help we can get. I can sense that this new foe of ours is as strong or stronger than Lavos was."
Then Marle asked, "How are you going to fit everyone into the Epoch?"
"I modified the cockpit, so now it holds six people instead of three," Lucca responded.
"Let's go, then!" Crono said as he ran out the door. Marle and Lucca followed him. When they ran through the throne room, the Chancellor stopped them and asked where they were going.
"I have something important I need to take care of," Marle said. "I'm sure you'll do just fine while we're gone." And with those words, they were gone, leaving the Chancellor alone in the throne room.
They continued running through the forest and southeast to a small bridge that led to an island where Lucca lived. When they reached her house, they went to the side of it where the Epoch rested, covered by a large, white sheet.
In haste, Lucca quickly pulled the sheet off of the time machine and began to unlock the hatch that led to the cockpit.
Once it was open, she turned to Crono and asked, "Would you like to pilot it?"
Without any hesitation, Crono responded, "I'd love to." He quickly climbed into the pilot seat as Marle and Lucca climbed into two seats behind him.
Once everyone was done buckling the safety straps on their seats, Crono pulled the ignition lever. Soon, the Epoch's wings were spread and they were flying through the air.
Crono flew around a bit before he asked, "Whom should we pick up first?"
Lucca quickly responded, "Glenn." Then she realized she shouldn't have said that so zealously, because she was getting weird looks from Marle.
"Okay," Crono said as he set the time gauge to 600 AD, "hold on to your seats."
Then, with the push of a button and in a flash of light, they were gone, off on another adventure.
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