"For Guardia!" Chapter 27
By Master Odin
Mario battled with the Sword of Kings in his right hand and a gold-plated pistol in the other. He shot a Porre soldier in the forehead and turned just in time to slice the belly of another open. It was then that he noticed the activity on the roof of General Ulric's manor. He ran to where Rebecca was fighting off three soldiers. She smashed the skull of one soldier with her nunchakus as Mario shot another, then ran the third through. "Rebecca! We need some light!" he ordered.
Rebecca concentrated for a moment as Mario defended her. She launched a sphere of light into the air, followed by two others. The first exploded, illuminating the battlefield. The battle stopped as everyone shielded their eyes from the new light. Mario looked to the manor. "Look!" he yelled, pointing at it. "Porre has surrendered!"
The second sphere exploded, illuminating the sky once more. Everyone looked to the manor and saw the white flag flying. As the third sphere exploded the pirates, Light Forces, Lucca, Schala and Robo cheered. Even Magus smiled. Those who were battling for Guardia soon realized that they were not the only ones cheering; the Porre soldiers had joined them in their jubilation.
Crono finished signing his name to the impromptu peace treaty before he stood and shook Commander Modan's hand. "I'm sorry we had to get involved in such a bloody war," the commander apologized.
"It's not your fault. We started it, and General Ulric tried to finish it." Crono said, accepting his apology. "Now that Ulric is dead, maybe Guardia and Porre can be at peace once again."
Modan nodded. "We will send construction workers to help rebuild Guardia Castle."
"This is sad," the Black Dragoon said as he watched from his corner. "It almost brings a tear to my eye." He thought for a moment. "Almost."
It was then that Jeremiah and Mario entered the office. Jeremiah noticed Ulric's beheaded body still on the floor. "I see you negotiated the peace settlement with extreme prejudice," he noted as he looked to Crono.
"Actually...," Crono started as he looked to the Black Dragoon.
A smirk crossed Jeremiah's lips before he turned to the Black Dragoon, who had transformed into Kain. "Finally got tired of his stupidity, eh?"
Kain shrugged. "I can only handle so much, as you well know." He looked around at the somber faces. "What are we all so unhappy for!? This is a day for celebration!" He grabbed two handfuls of wine glasses, and, with his supernatural speed, passed them out to everyone in the room and filled them with red wine. When he came to a stop he held his glass up. "I say we propose a toast. To Guardia, may she always be a shining beacon of peace to this world, and maybe others as well." He looked to Crono and Marle. "To their king and queen, may the be full of health, and may they have lots of little rug rats terrorizing the castle." He turned to Modan. "And to Porre and her new General. May she always know peace, and may Odin guide the general with his wisdom. And may whatever gods are in this universe have mercy on the souls of those who were lost in this war."
"Here, here!" the others cheered.
Jeremiah brought the glass to his lips, then stopped. "It's not poisoned, is it?"
The others stopped when he said this before they took their sips. Kain grinned. "I have no quarrel with these people, and you know damn good and well that if you go, I go, and I'm not ready to go, yet."
Jeremiah nodded before he drained his glass. The others followed suit.
"That's an interesting toast your nemesis gave," Crono said to Jeremiah after they had returned to Guardia Castle later that night. A fire burned brightly in the hearth once again.
Jeremiah nodded. "Kain is a good man, he really is. He's just against us." He let out a heavy sigh. "We will be leaving in the morning, and we will be taking Kain with us. We've been away too long. Hopefully, with Kain being here, NightFire hasn't tried to pull anything while we were away."
Crono nodded. "I pray you're right."
The next morning the construction workers from Porre arrived to begin rebuilding Guardia Castle.
Crono, Marle, Larissa, Lucca, Robo, Schala and Magus watched as the Zecronean Knights and Sacred Warriors boarded Sleipnir. Jeremiah waited by the hatch for the rest to board. He watched as Kain boarded carrying a small chest.
Scorpion noticed Grobyc following him. He turned to him and said, "You canÃt come with us."
Scorpion thought for a moment. "Stay here and protect the kingdom of Guardia with your life."
After the last of them had said their farewells and boarded, Jeremiah turned to Crono and the others. "You guys take care of yourselves, now, and if you guys ever need help again, please call upon us."
"The same to you," Crono added. "Your war has gone on for too long. If there is anything we can do to help bring an end to it, please, let us know."
Jeremiah nodded. "Farewell." He climbed into the ship. Crono and the others, short of Magus, waved as it took off.
They turned to each other. "Shall we?" Crono said. "We have a lot of work to do."
2015 AD; ZECROES B9-14PS2
The Zecronean Knights and the Sacred Warriors filed out of Sleipnir upon their return to Zecroes. Kain started to walk toward the launch bay when Jeremiah caught up with him. "I just have to know, what's in the box?"
"Oh, just a little souvenir I decided to bring back," Kain said as he turned to him and opened the box, revealing Ulric's head.
Jeremiah's eyes widened with realization. "No...."
"Yes," Kain said as he slammed the trunk closed. He transformed into the Black Dragoon and flew off.
"Dammit!" Jeremiah yelled as he ran at top speed back to the control center of Zecroes.
1022 AD; EARTH R0-9SNES
Later that day, Magus found Schala helping Lucca cleaning up the latter's old lab. "Lucca, if you'd excuse us for a moment."
Lucca looked at him for a moment, then to Schala. She nodded and walked out.
Magus turned to Schala. "Schala, there is something I need to tell you."
Schala stood from her work. "I already know, Janus. I have always known who you were."
Magus did not move as Schala ran over to him and embraced him. Magus wrapped his arms around her. "Finally," he said under his breath as a tear trickled down his cheek. "Finally I have you both back
2015 AD; ZECROES B9-14PS2
Designed for military purposes, the control room on Zecroes was filled with several computers. In the center of the control room was a giant brain encased in glass and a clear fluid.
"What?!" Mario exclaimed after hearing what Jeremiah said.
"The General Ulric from Porre was the same General Ulric that Captain Kipdred's bio-borgs battled almost fifteen years ago," Jeremiah reiterated.
"But, how the fuck?!" Sean yelled. "I thought the damn superion bio-borg implants ended up killing the fucker."
"The Dark OverLord must have been able to save him somehow," Walter suggested, his hand at his chin. "Though I am not certain why. He was quite the idiot."
"That explains why the Black Dragoon killed him," the feminine computer voice said. "It was because he failed."
"Correct, Amenzut-Tome," Walter said, patting the glass the encased the giant brain.
Mario thought for a few moments. "We need to send someone to protect their world, but who do we send? Kipdred and her bio-borgs?"
"No," Jeremiah stated. "We need them here. NightFire's ultimate objective is still the Sacred Planet, so he's not going to put a lot of resources into conquering other universes." He thought for a few moments. "Go tend to your families. We've been away for some time." He turned to Mario. "You're coming with me."
"Where are we going?" Mario asked as he followed him to the portal chamber.
"To ask a question."
2015 AD; EARTH B9-14PS2
Jeremiah and Mario kneeled before Odin, who sat upon Hlidskialf. "Greetings, my sons."
"Greetings, All Father," the two Sons of Odin greeted before they rose.
"What brings you?"
"All Father," Jeremiah started. "While we were in the other universe we were able to help our friends retake their homeland of Guardia, but afterward we learned that the leader of the Porre army was General Ulric, of NightFire."
Odin's brow furrowed. "You mean the same NightFire that threatens this Sacred Planet?"
Mario nodded. "Yes, All Father. We need to send help there so that they will not fall to the might of NightFire, but we are not sure who we should send."
Odin nodded as he thought on the matter. He looked to Jeremiah. "I'm sure that if you look close to home, you will find a warrior willing and able to go and defend them."
Jeremiah nodded. "Very well. Thank you, All Father."
1022 AD; EARTH R0-9SNES
Marle awoke late one night a week after their return to Guardia. She held her stomach for a moment, then rolled out of bed and hung her head over the chamber pot, vomiting.
Crono heard her and sat up. "Are you okay?"
Marle wiped her face off with a towel. "Honey, I think I'm pregnant."
2015 AD; EARTH B9-14PS2
Jeremiah sat in his study in his home, still thinking of who to send to the other world, when there was a knock at the door. "It's open," he called out.
His son, Jeremy opened the door and entered. "Hi, dad."
"Hey, son." Jeremiah stood and walked over to his son and gave him a hug. "I'm sorry I haven't been able to spend a lot of time with you since we returned."
"It's okay, dad," Jeremy said with sincerity. "I know that there are some new problems with the war."
"Thanks, son," Jeremiah said as he gave him another hug.
"How are they doing, ya know, the aliens?"
Aliens? Jeremiah thought to himself. I guess the term is appropriate, all things considered. They're still friends, though. "They're just fine. We helped them get their home back and make peace with a neighboring country."
Jeremy sat in one of the leather chairs in the study. "I wish I could see Larissa again."
His son's words struck Jeremiah hard. "Go find your mother and tell her I need to speak with her."
"So, who is it?" Amy asked after Jeremiah told her he knew who to send to the other universe.
"Before I tell you, promise you'll respond rationally to this," Jeremiah pleaded with her.
Jeremiah let out a deep sigh as he sat down behind his desk. "Jeremy."
"No!" Amy refused immediately.
"Amy, you promised you'd be rational about this."
"I am being rational!" Amy yelled. "You're wanting to send your son to another world, where there is almost no Earth energy for him to feed off of to defend them from a power that we have trouble battle with all eight Knights, and then some!"
Jeremiah stood. "Amy, Jeremy's twelve years old, and we knew from the moment that we discovered that Jeremy and Samantha would gain the same powers as me that we would, one day, have to face the fact that they would choose to join the war, right?" Amy nodded. "Odin told me that if I look close to home that I would find a warrior willing and able to go. Jeremy is willing. He cares for them, especially Larissa, and he is able. He's as skilled as I was when I was seventeen. Odin also thinks he is ready." When Amy didn't say anything he walked over to her and gently held her shoulders. "I know you don't want him to go. I don't either, but we need to protect our friends. Besides, once Jeremy finds out what's really going on, he'll probably steal Sleipnir and go there anyway. This way we'll at least know that he'll be okay."
Amy let out a sigh. "Alright."
Jeremiah put his arm around her as he walked her out of his study. "Trust me, this will be for the best."
"General Custard's famous last words."
1022 AD; EARTH R0-9SNES
Crono, Marle and Larissa waited outside as Sleipnir landed in front of Guardia Castle. Once the engines cooled the side hatch opened and Jeremiah, Amy and Jeremy stepped out.
"Welcome back, friends," Crono greeted as he clasped Jeremiah's forearm. "We weren't expecting a visit so soon."
Jeremiah nodded. "Well, we have some matters to discuss."
"Jeremy, why don't you and Larissa run off and play," Amy suggested. Jeremy and Larissa agreed without hesitation and ran off.
"It's a bit dusty in the castle," Marle said. "Why don't we talk out here."
"Sure," Jeremiah said. They all took a seat on the grass. "How's the construction coming?"
"Well," Crono answered. "General Modan sent some good men. Now, what is it that we need to discuss?" Crono asked.
"Your Highnesses, General Ulric was from our world," Jeremiah shared with him, "and he was a member of NightFire."
"What does this mean?" Marle asked, a worried look growing on her face.
"It means, that NightFire has set his sights on something in this universe as well. What, I do not know. All I know is that he has the means to get here, and that he has already sent someone here to get it."
"What do we do?" Crono asked.
Jeremiah let out a sigh. "With your permission, my son, Jeremy, has agreed to remain here to help guard your world. We don't suspect that NightFire will be making any sort of all out attack here, so he should be all you need."
"He is more than welcome to stay," Marle said. "This should make Larissa very happy."
Crono nodded as they stood. "Indeed."
"There are just a few rules for him, though," Amy added. "He is to train with the guards, and he needs to visit Spekkio once a week to recharge his Earth energy and to hone his magic abilities. Also, I don't recommend leaving him alone with Larissa too much once he gets a little older. If he's more like his father than I already know he is, then he can be quite... persuasive."
"I wasn't that bad," Jeremiah argued.
"I married you, didn't I?"
"Duely noted," Crono said with a chuckle.
"Jeremy!" Amy called out.
Jeremy and Larissa came running. "Are you leaving now?" he asked.
"Before you go," Crono interrupted, "there's something that must be done." He turned to Jeremy. "Kneel, Jeremy," he said as he walked over to him. Jeremy kneeled as Crono drew the Rainbow. He touched Jeremy's shoulders with the flat of the blade, "and rise, Sir Jeremiah Michael Aran the Fourth."
Jeremy rose, and as he did the ground began to shake. His body transformed to look like the White Dragoon, only he was silver. The ground stopped shaking after the transformation.
"Just like when I was knighted into the ranks of the Master Gold...." Jeremiah said under his breath. Amy simply ran to her son and gathered him into her arms, crying. Jeremiah walked over to him. "So, what will you call yourself now, Master Silver Dragon Knight, Sir Jeremiah Michael Aran the Fourth?"
Jeremy looked himself over. "I think that I should follow in my father's footsteps and become the new Silver Dragoon, charged with defending this world against the forces of NightFire."
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