By Martin Berglund
The guardia Kingdom slept well that night.
But still, people was afraid of 'the stranger'.
At this moment, people had been screaming for guards every time they saw a shadow.
After a few houres of shadow hunting, the kingdom was finally asleep.
But not everywhere. If you listen carefully, you can hear small whisperes in the night.
The fear of the stranger never disappeared.
"Sure. And it's the perfect time to ask."
"Sorry. I should have come earlier."
"Why? Why not come here right now, in the middel of the night and wake up the entire neighbourhood."
The vicitor shook his head.
"You know," the first one said. "It's really the right time to ask me to do a favor."
"Not just a favor." the vicitor added.
"Whatever... I'll think of it, okay?"
"Sure... But remember... After the incident, I'm not very popular, and..."
The first one closed the door.
"...well," the vicitor said alone in the dark. "Do whatever you want. Get killed. I don't care."
The vicitor sneaked away from the building and to the forest.
"Goodmorning, Lucca! Are you feeling better? Remember that... Lucca?!?"
Lara discovered that Lucca was not in her bed.
Lara looked around. Where was she?
She walked down the staires and entered the kitchen.
"Have you seen Lucca?" Lara asked, but Taban shook his head.
"Where can she be?"
"Princess? Princess Nadia?" Simeane opened the door carefully and saw
that Marle wasn't on her room.
Simeane walked in and looked around. Where could she be?
After 10 years as a maid, she had a list in her head of possible locations.
One years ago, she could be anywhere by now.
Climbing on Mt. Porre, hiding in the woods, trying to sneak on the boat and even...
be at a Millennial Fair.
She would go to Crono's house first. Simeane didn't like to walk in and ask if the princess were there. Crono's mom didn't like her very much. She though the princess was to big for a nanny. Perhapps she was. But then she could stop running away like this.
If she wasn't at Crono's place, Lucca was alternative number two.
Lyckily, nowdays she didn't went there every time Lucca had a new invention.
Before, she could come home with cloths filled with oil or other strange liquids.
She always blamed Lucca's new invention.
Then Simeane saw the window. It was open. She looked out. Had she climbed out of the window? Why? In her confusion, she ran down to the throne room, to search for the king.
"Your late." Lucca exclaimed.
Marle walked to the fountain, where Lucca was sitting.
"Better late than never." she said. "But I'm not very sure about it this time"
They looked around at the town. They were sitting in the center of it, but no one could be seen. To early for most of the people.
"You got your... eh... gun?" Marle finally said, to break the silence.
"Yeah. You got your?"
"Sorry. I forgot it."
"Don't worry." Lucca said. "I really don't want you to climb on the castel walls with a big crossbow around you neck."
"I've done it before." Marle said, smiling and looked at the forest.
"Sure he's there?" she said.
"Crono? Hey, have your ever..." Lucca started, but got interruppted.
"I mean this guy... whoever he is." Marle corrected.
"Oh..." Lucca said, but didn't continue.
Finally she rose, and started to walk towards the the north forest.
Marle followed, a little bit afraid of what Lucca might do when she found him.
"Sorry, majesty. She apeares to have climbed out of her window."
Finally the king was up. He looked like he didn't get much sleep this night either.
The King leant back, and let his head rest.
Simeane took a deep breath.
"She's probably viciting that boy... now what was his name..."
"Crono" The king said.
"Yes, Crono." Simeane continued. Of course she knew his name was Crono.
She just didn't like him, and expressed that in diffrent ways. This was one.
The king shook his head.
"No. That young man sleeps longer that the war aginst Magus lasted.
I believe Nadia and Lucca are preparing some suprice for him."
"I'll find her." she said and walked out.
Simeane smiled. She wouldn't search for her.
She would be okay.
'Yes!' Simeane thought.
Finally she got some time of.
"Isn't it a nice weather we have?" Lucca said, waiting for the stranger to
After a few houres of search, they had finally found him,
walking on a path leading around in circles.
"Don't worry... We're just here to talk. Right Lucca?"
Lucca watched her, and then nodded. "Yeah, right."
The stranger turned around. Now, Marle could see him for the first time.
He looked just like Lucca described.
Combed back, brown hair. A white shirt, and brown pants.
And finally, this big black cape.
His eares was quite pointy, just like Magus.
"Then I hope I'll listen." He said.
Both Lucca and Marle walked to him.
"Who have I the pleasure to speak to?" Marle said and raised her hand.
But he didn't shook it.
"There's not a pleasure to talk with me. Believe me."
"Your right, it's not." Lucca said.
The man watched her. Then he turned back to Marle, who lowered her hand, when she noticed that he didn't care about it.
"Leave. Please. She knows what happens else." He pointed at Lucca.
Lucca didn't answere.
"Look, can't you tell us who you are? You just come here from nowhere,
burn Lucca, and scare half of the people down to Porre."
The man didn't change expression.
"There might happen something terrible. Please leave."
But Marle didn't back of. "I don't think so. I want to know who you are and what you are doing here."
The man watch her for a long time.
"He's gonna blow!" Lucca shouted, and Marle made a leap back.
But the man didn't care. He freed his hands from his cape and hold them in the air.
"Now!" Lucca screamed, and summond her magic.
Marle was ready.
She gathered all magic energy she could grip, and then let it transform into ice crystals.
The crystals spinned around her and in the same moment as Lucca, she release it's power.
They gathered all energy together, and let it become a powerful antipode attack.
A blue light filled the forest, and the sight went all white.
After a few seconds, red and blue magic energy particles flow around and caused massive discharges. After 10 second, the spell was finished. Marle saw that the enviroment around them had changed a bit.
Broken tree part was laying everywhere. Indeed their spell was powerfull.
The man was forced to his knees. "Argh......"
His voice sounded weird.
"I think we got him!" Lucca exclaimed.
But the man didn't give up. He murbled something like "Parfightin Hiyterth"
Fast as a lightning, the man made a fast movment with his hand, pointing it aginst Marle, and shouted:
A rainbow colored bean was fired out of his hand, and hit Marle in her stomach.
Marle felt like she had been hit by something big.
When she opend her eyes, she discovered that she was flying. She was far above ground.
That beams purpuse was never to kill her, but to throw her away.
The trees came closer as she flied through the air.
If this was her last moment, she wished she had... had... had...
Nothing came to mind before everything went black witha big "Ka-Braaaak!!"
Lucca had just seen how that beam hit Marle and gave her a real trip.
"You..." she said and again summond her magic.
Every particle in this place was hers. Every one. She gathered them right in front of this man.
He raised his cape to protect him body, whatever kind of protection it gave.
Lucca concentrated and blew the flare of.
Small explosions filled the air.
The man looked supriced at them.
Lucca guess he wondered why they didn't harm him. She smiled.
When the right moment came, Lucca spinned around and blew of the real flare.
It was powerfull enough to throw him away a few meters.
An intensitive red light filled the little area. When the flare was out, Lucca watched him.
He didn't move. Had she won?
Suddenly she remembered Marle. Where was she?
She looked around. Nowhere close.
When she looked back on the man, he was standing.
"Immarnallia thechernasid" he said and moved his hands in complexed movments.
"Forget him. Care about Marle." Lucca thought and ran in the direction Marle had disappeared. She couldn't hear if the man continued his spell, but she didn't really care.
Why had she brought Marle here? This was her problem, not Marle's.
She ran far into the forest, but couldn't find Marle.
Fritz and Elaine walked to Leene square. It was a peaceful morning.
Fritz had taken some time off from his shop to spend with Elaine.
There were not very many people out here now.
There used to, but many had fleed to Porre, afraid of this stranger.
Fritz sat down beside the fountain and so did Elaine.
No one said a word. Everything was so peaceful.
Fritz heared one come, and he turned around to see who it was.
But it wasn't the newcomer who got his attention.
Because he saw something fly over the trees in the north forest.
The object disappeared from his sightfield, and soon after, he heard a crashing sound.
"Elaine." He said.
"Did you just see a person who looked like Marle, fly over the woods and then crash into a tree?"
Elaine looked strange at him. "No."
Fritz shook his head.
"I'm not sure I saw it either..."
Slowly Marle opened her eyes. She was lying next to a tree.
First, she felt she was okay, nothing broken.
But when she tried to move, she could determine that she was not.
Most of the pain was in her arms and legs.
She tried to remember what happend. She were hit by something, and thrown far away.
Apparently, she crashed into a tree, and here she was.
"Can anyone hear me?" she shouted. "Help me."
But there were no reponse.
She listen for any sounds, but the forest was calm.
"M-a-r-l-e-!" she suddely heared.
"Lucca!" she shouted back.
Marle saw a person coming running in this direction.
After a minut, Lucca had reached her.
"How do you feel? And how stupid of me..."
"It's okay. I wanted to see him with my own eyes anyway."
Lucca picked up a full tonic from her bag.
One of the last from their adventure.
"Here." She said and handed it over.
Marle took it and drank most of it's contents.
Lucca helped her up and almost carried her out of the forest.
"Lucca! Marle! What have you done?" Crono exclaimed when he saw Marle limp
on foot, and holding her arm on Lucca's shoulder.
"She's... or I think she hurt. I don't think we can make it to the castel, can we..."
"Come in." Crono interupped.
Lucca nodded and helped Marle in. Together with Crono, Lucca helped Marle up the stairs and put her on Crono's bed.
"Sorry about the mess, but..." Crono said, but Lucca smiled.
"I don't mind."
Crono mom came up, wondering what was going on.
"Now, what's going on here?" she said, but when she saw Marle, she understood.
"Shall I get a doctor?"
Marle shook her head, but Lucca nodded.
"How..." Crono started, but Lucca interupped him.
When the doctor was finished, he could determinate that nothing was broken.
He didn't know much about how powerful a full tonic was, since they were not very common. After Lucca description of what had happend, the doctor was supriced of that nothing was broken. A normal tonic couldn't heal broken bones, but I looked like the full could. Marle was able to walk after a few houres, and she didn't care about the doctors advices about staying in bed for a few days.
Marle ate dinner with Lucca and Crono that day. They were all sitting in Crono's house and talked about what to do. Crono made Lucca and Marle promise never to seach for the stranger again.
"Promise." Lucca said.
"Promise." Marle repeted.
There were a long silence.
"Tell your mom that the food she makes is great!" Marle suddenly said.
"As always." Crono answered and smiled.
"What shall we do about him?" Lucca said, trying to get back to the subject.
"What shall I do about him you mean..." Crono corrected.
"Whatever." Lucca continued.
No one said a word. It was all quiet.
"I'll talk to him." Crono finally said.
"No way!" Lucca protested, but Marle agreed with Crono.
"Crono made him tell us how to cure you, remember?" she said.
"I'm the only one he talks to. Don't know why..."
Lucca shook her head.
"What are you going to say?"
Crono smiled. "Don't know yet..."
He looked around.
"Now let's talk about something else, shall we?"
"...Like Lucca's new invention."
Again, Crono walked to his secret hideout.
He wondered how this guy would react.
He left his rainbow at home, cause he didn't want to look hostile.
He walked as usual the path forward, and then took of to the right.
This night wasn't like the last one. Clouds were covering the sky, and it was a little bit cold.
Crono walked quite fast through the forest, hopeing the stranger was on the other side.
As he came closer to the cliffs, he heard something.
It was a strange animal sound, and it came from everywhere.
Suddenly he saw three creatures standing in front of him.
They were about one meter long and looked like wolfes.
But wolfs would never attack humans.
Crono gathered magic energy and released a lightning bolt on one of the creatures.
It fell to the ground, but it didn't scare the rest off.
Crono was about to repeat it when he heard words he didn't understood.
A rainbowcolored circle apeared above the creatures,
and it dropped smal fragments from it's edges.
Small sfears apeared around the circle and spinned around it. Magic particles flew into the circle and out from it.
The circle transformed into a big cage, which surronded the creatures.
The cage shined in a color spectrum.
After a few seconds, the cage exploded in a colorful explosion.
There wasn't very much left of the creatures.
"Dumber they are..." Crono heared a voice saying. "...easier they fall."
Crono saw a man in a black cape comming walking toward him.
"Nice spell." Crono said.
Crono thought of something to say.
Nothing came to mind.
Why was he here anyway?
He said to Marle and Lucca he would talk to this guy, but he never thought of what.
"You like taking walks in the middel of the night?" the man said.
Crono nodded and smiled.
"I can't believe it." the man started. "I've made terrible things. Why do you want to see me?"
Crono thought of something to say.
"I can't get this anymore! Terrible..."
Suddenly, Crono got an idea. It wasn't a very good one, but could work.
"If you think you have done terrible things, then why don't you... no."
The man looked at him.
"Well, I thought about that you could hand over youself to the law..."
'How stupid is he?' Crono thought.
The man thought for a second.
"Yes. That could solv my problem. I one way."
'I can't believe it!' Crono thought. 'He agreed!'
"Do you know where the castel is?" Crono asked.
The man nodded.
"Good. Met me outside of it, at this time tomorrow."
Crono turned around and walked back, but stopped.
"One more thing..."
"What's your name?"
The man thought for a long time.
"I think... Shadin was what they called me." he said.
"But that's a name I don't live up to anymore."
"Do you mind if I call you Shadin?"
"No. Since I can't remember any other name for the moment, Shadin will do."
"Well?" Lucca said when Crono returned.
"Believe it or not, but he want's a trial!"
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