The Dark Storm Chapter 6
By Martin Berglund
No, no! Dont touch anything! The king said. Once
I get my hands on that... wizard... Then Im gonna force him to rebuild
the castle all by himself!
The workers backed off.
The king, the chancellor and a few other was standing just outside, what had been the Guardia castle. Right now, it looked more like a pile of junk. How could this happened?
No one answered him.
The sun had just reached its highest position, but clouds could been seen by the horizon.
Scouts had been sneaking around the castle all morning to make sure Shadin was far from here.
Inform everyone that it is a price on that wizards head.
The chancellor looked up.
The chancellor nodded and walked down the castle stairs.
The king shook his head.
This had been the royal castle in generations.
Survived severally of wars, and never been in real danger.
Now, a man destroys it by saying: scorch earth.
The king had watched the ruins in almost twenty minutes, when a soldier came.
The king turned around. There you are! Now, how many died?
The king looked supriced at him.
None?!? No one died?
No, sir. Just a few wounded.
The king looked away. Thats something to be happy about.
Its my fault! Crono exclaimed.
Perhaps... Lucca answered.
Marle looked at her. So did Crono.
Eh... Crono started. Shouldnt you say something like no its not?
Thats what you want, huh? Someone who feel sad about you.
They were all sitting in Cronos house, and had been here since yesterday, when Shadin destroyed the castle. Crono had promised Marle that she could sleep here, and she accepted it, since she had no better alternative. Her dad was going to sleep in the mayors manor.
Marle looked out of the window.
I wonder whats taking so long? They should have been back by now!
Both Crono and Lucca remained silent.
Marle sat down again.
You dont think Shadin showed up?
Crono shook his head.
Oh, no! Then there should be raining chancellors by now.
Oh! How funny...
As they talked, Cronos mom came down from Cronos room.
By some reason, she had volunteered to fix their extra bed.
Its done. She said.
Crono turned around.
His mom nodded and walked to the table and sat down.
I moved your desk to the right and put the extra bed on its place.
Nice of you to do it. Marle said.
Yeah. Crono said. Thanks mom.
Oh, that was nothing. Cronos mom replied. Thats what moms and dads are for.
Crono smiled. Yeah.
Now, what were you talking about? Cronos mom said.
Crono looked at Lucca and Marle.
His mom smiled. Youre not going after that... Shadin, are you?
Crono shook his head. No.
His mom nodded.
You worthless idiot! Now everything is destroyed...
I thought you were asleep at this time of the day...
The stranger entered the house, and closed the door.
Forget about all this... I have to start all over!
The house owner shook his head.
But... Just because he... mistreated the castle, doesnt have to mean that hes out of your use.
The stranger looked at him.
Lets me handle the thinking. And I say its all destroyed. He turned around and opened the door. Dont make anything stupid. he shouted over his shoulder.
You have to pay of your debt some other time.
The chancellor put map on the table, and the spectators looked closer.
One of them was the king.
You may start. He said.
The chancellor nodded.
As you all know, we are having problems with a mysterious man, known as Shadin.
He has shown to be very dangerous, and asks first and attacks later.
We know that he is for the moment NOT in Porre. By intensive scouting, we can also treat these areas... He pointed at the west forest and the south Truce. as safe.
Its the north forest, he continued, who is the most believable hiding place.
No one has volunteered to scout there. Any questions?
There was a silence again in the mayor manor. The mayor of Truce pointed out Leene square.
Is this area safe?
The chancellor nodded.
No one has seen him there, and he usually dont show up in populated areas. It should be safe.
Again, everybody was silent.
After a few minutes, the king cleared his throat.
What do you suggest me to do? Im in urgent need of advises.
From who? Me? the chancellor said.
I mean all of you.
Im aware of that you have set a price on that mans head... Is it true?
The king nodded.
Yes, I did. But I shall cancel it. This is my problem and not any... bountyhunter.
One of the men looked up.
Perhaps it not your fault either... Think of who started this mess... but he got interrupted.
And you think blaming this on Lucca would solve all problems? One of the women said.
Then shut up!
The silence fell over the house again.
Lets wait. the woman suggested. And see what he does next.
The king nodded.
Yes, Mearla. Thats not a bad idea... At least its all we can do for now. Chancellor?
Yes, your majesty?
Cancel the reward for Shadin. And do it now.
Yes, your majesty. The chancellor answered and left the room.
After a while, the king brought up the discussion again.
If we only could foreseen his next move... He is so unpredictable!
No one answered.
Anyone have a suggestion? Kaerl? Mearla? Niquea? Fritz? Grefther? Hyynth? Eilea? No one?
Well, then ladies and gentlemens. I declare this discussion finished. Lets wait for a while and see what hell do next.
They splitted up and walked away in different directions.
But suddenly, a scream echoed from the north forest.
I... Fritz started, You know... I got a funny feeling we wont have to wait that long...
What will happened next? Lucca asked.
Who knows? Marle answered. Crono are you coming?
Crono turned around. Yeah. I just thought I heard something...
Really? You got to teach me that sometime. Lucca said sarcastic.
They were walking on Tabans bridge, who connected Luccas island with the main continent.
The clock showed 13:04 and the sun shined. But at the horizon, dark clouds gathered.
Lucca opened the door and walked in.
First, no response, but then Lucca could hear Tabans voice from the kitchen.
They walked up on her room. Lucca throwed herself on the bed, while Crono and Marle took a chair each.
Any theories? Marle started.
Well... I got one.
Lucca looked up. Let hear.
Perhaps he is from Choras, and therefor not known to us.
Lucca released her eyes from Marle.
Then why didnt we meat him when we were there?
Perhaps he hide himself. Just like now.
Its a theory. And the only one we got this far... Crono said. But I can think of an other.
Lucca looked at him. Well?
When I first met him, I noticed his weak language. He made a few mistakes, who normal people wouldnt. Perhaps he is from another continent, far from here.
He could be. But why did he destroy the castle? And why does he act so strange?
Crono shook his head. Dont know. Your try, Lucca
In that moment, they could hear Taban come up.
Hi there. He said.
Hi Taban. Marle and Crono said.
Are you hungry?
Marle and Crono nodded, but Lucca shook her head.
Were in the middle of an important discussion!
Too important then to eat? My new power-meal machine is sure awesome.
Lucca looked around.
Well, I dont know... Half of me is hungry, but the other half of me wants to continue discuss this... Wait a moment! Yes, of course!
Crono and Marle looked supriced at her. What?
Thanks dad! Your a genius!
Does that mean you will come down?
Who was he?
Kerinan Thornes. A bountyhunter.
The king nodded.
How did he get here?
The chancellor shook his head.
I dont know for sure. Some witnesses said he came down from the sky. From nowhere.
The king turned to the guard commander. You can let the people in now. Leene square is a free place.
Leene square... the chancellor thought. Hrmf... If things continue like this, we could make a fortune of opening an airfield here.
The guards carried away the dead body.
Thats ONE live he have cost us. The king said.
Like my mother always said... The chancellor replied. Thinks can always get worse.
Yes, it could be worse. the king said. If I only could foreseen his next move.
I think thats the problem. the chancellor answered. He never plan his moves, he just act.
You know his location?
Yes. Some fishermen saw a black caped man on one of the cliffs near the north ocean.
The king rose up from his chair, and as he walked towards the stair, so did the chancellor.
One hour ago. Ive sent boats to patrol for him. But I have given them orders not to go close.
Yes, thats wise. the king said.
They walked downstairs.
The guards had a big map there, with possible locations marked.
The king removed a few marks.
That makes it easier.
Lets hope he keep the same position for a while longer. the chancellor said and walked away from the map.
Why? The king shouted after him. Were not taking any actions!
You dont have too... Marle started but...
Sure I do. We got a lot to talk about.
Lucca turned around.
Im following Crono and Marle home!!! Be right back!!! Lucca shouted.
A few moments later, she could hear Lara saying: Okay.
They walked out and Lucca shut the door.
So... You think it will work? Marle asked.
Lets hope so. Lucca answered.
What makes you think it will work? Crono said, a little bit worried of Luccas plan.
Lucca looked at him.
You want the technical details?
Good. Well see if it works, sooner or later.
Yes, but... Marle said. ...What makes you think he will drink it?
I told you. Lucca answered. His brains scattered. Hell drink it.
They crossed the bridge and entered the town.
Crono looked at Truce inn, where the lights were still on.
As they walked in town, the clouds came closer.
They stopped outside Cronos house.
Thanks for joining us, Lucca. Marle said.
They stood there a long time.
Finally Lucca turned around.
Well, thats it. Goodnight.
Marle waved to her. Goodnight.
Lucca walked few meters.
And... she turned around.
Take it easy tonight...
Hey... Crono said. We got Shadin to think about. Right?
Right. Marle confirmed.
Okay. Goodnight. Lucca said and walked away.
Crono and Marle said goodnight once again and then walked in.
Marle... a voice said, coming from Cronos bed.
Marle slowly lifted her head and looked at the dark corner.
Youre worried about the plan?
Yeah... Arent you?
Maybe... A little... But you saw his resisting handmoves.
Marle put her head back on the pillow.
I guess we have to hope for the best. Crono said.
Thats all we can do for now. Marle said.
Crono looked out through the window.
The dark clouds were closer now then ever.
Theres a dark storm coming ahead. he said.
No. Marle answered. Its already over us.
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