A Square Deal Chapter 4
Recap: Terra and Edgar met in the night. Something's bound to happen soon..
Cyan awoke early that morning.
"I shalt awaketh Terra, and confess mine love for her," he thought. He dressed quickly, pulling on a fresh tunic and slipping into a pair of loose pants. Taking the single red rose and headed out towards Terra's room. He took a deep breath, then knocked on the door. No answer. He figured that she was still asleep.
"Tis strange, for she is usually an early riser," he commented as he entered her room. Her room was in a hurried disarray; her clothes were on the floor, even her dainty lingerie. Cyan grinned amusedly; he knew ho messy Terra was when it came to her personal items, and he proceeded to pick up her clothes and put them on the dresser. He finally took a peek through the curtain around her bed and was quite startled: she was not there; the bed hadn't even been slept in.
"Where couldst she have gone?" he thought, looking about the room.
Sabin and Locke had been chatting over breakfast, waiting for Edgar.
"Where is that kingly brother of yours?" Locke asked while scooping another fork-full of eggs into his mouth.
"I don't know what's keeping him," he paused to swallow, (of course he's speaking with his mouth full.) "I think I'll go check on him. He's been having trouble sleeping, and he hasn't been taking very good care of himself," Sabin stood up, his chair squeaking back.
"I'll come with you," Locke said, wiping his mouth. Celes always made sure that Locke had good manners in her presence, and since she was sitting across the table from him so he was at his best. The two wound through the way to Edgar's room; the hallways lit in square patterns by the early morning sun showing in through the frosted glass windows.
"It's going to be a nice day," Sabin thought as he approached the door.
Edgar kissed Terra's neck, in a spot below her ear where the skin was soft and lightly fuzzy. Terra smiled, liking the pleasant awakening. She opened her eyes and saw Edgar's figure posed over her, the light from an open window bathing him in a white light. He looked like an angel.
"Mmm, good morning," she said to him, returning the gesture to his lips while she stretched.
"So, do you think you can stay the day?" he asked her as he settled back down onto the bed, and began caressing the small of her back.
"Today I can, but that's it. The kids will worry about me if I stay too long for now..." she twirled a lock of his long golden hair with a finger.
Edgar had had something on his mind since the night before, and he felt that now was the ideal time for him to ask.
"I want to give you something," he paused, thinking of the correct words to use, "Actually, I'd like to ask you something as well," he turned to the edge of the bed and fished down under there with his hands, making his butt go up into the air and Terra giggle. He sat up, and there in his hands was a mahogany box decorated with mother-of-pearl, and very dusty. He reached into the space between his bed and the wall, and found a key, which he put into the keyhole and the box popped open. The box was full of junk, but Edgar knew what he was looking for and drew out velvet covered locket-box. He handed it to Terra.
As she opened it, he said, "Terra Branford, most wonderful of all woman-kind, I love you more than any other person in this life," inside the small box was a ring, with a jewel like she had never seen. It was like opal, with a strange iridescence, and colors. Terra could see the colors slowly swirl and change, but the stone was as hard as diamond.
"Would you do a lowly man like me the greatest favor and give me your hand in marriage?" he finished, his hear pounding almost audibly. He was not sure what her answer would do to him: if she said no, he knew that his hear would stop altogether from shock, and if she said yes, he might just die from joy.
Terra was dumbfounded. Not only had she finally confessed her love to him and found that he loved her back, but he had proposed to her as well. She finally found her voice when her mind was trapped by his eyes.
"Edgar... I love you so much!!!!" she said, those being the only words that would come out. Her soul screamed to her mouth, "Say yes! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes....!"
"Do you accept?" he asked, wide-eyed.
"Oh, Edgar, yes, yes of course I do!" she kissed him. She held her hand up to him, and he took the ring, which he slipped onto her slender ring finger. He held her hand up to the light, and the stone glinted marvelously. Finding no more appropriate words for the moment, they locked in a very passionate kiss.
Right at that moment, Sabin and Locke opened the door. Edgar and Terra didn't notice, and kept right on kissing. Down the hall, Cyan stood, having wandered up that way while looking for Terra. He watched, broken-hearted, and went back down the stairs.
"Well, isn't this special," Sabin said to get his brother's attention. Edgar noticed the two who had entered, both he and Terra turned red with embarrassment.
"Don't feel embarrassed. It's Mr. No-Manners here who barged in," Locke said, giving Sabin a reprimanding look.
After Sabin had spoken with his brother, and Edgar had told them the happy news, they headed down to breakfast again. Terra whispered into Celes' ear about what had just happened, but told her to keep it a secret from everyone else, and showed her the ring.
"Oh, my! It's wonderful!" Celes marveled at it, looking closely at the exotic jewel on it. She held up her own hand to compare rings; Locke had given her one for the same reason. "Mine's not nearly as unique as yours." Celes' ring was a relic Locke had treasure hunted months to find. It had a once magical stone on it, green in color, and the band was pure gold.
"I think your ring is wonderful. Anyway, it's what it represents that's important," Terra smiled as she gazed at both of the rings' faceted sides.
"Where did Edgar get such a ring?" Celes asked Terra.
"I don't know, he didn't tell me. Where did you get it, Edgar?" she asked him.
"It's been in my family for generations," he said, breaking out of the conversation he was holding with Locke and Sabin. "It was my mother's. I think that its been passed sown through the generations of my family. There's a legend, that it would only fit on the finger of the king's on true love. It's only a legend, but with ma.." Terra cut him off. She caught his ponytail and gently pulled him closer.
"We were going to tell everyone at once," she whispered to him.
"Huh -- oh yeah! Magic, I forgot about that,." Edgar said, pushing his hair back, and with a nearly dopey smile on his face.
Celes looked at Terra's ring eagerly.
"How about testing that legend?" Terra could tell that Celes just wanted to try on the ring.
"Ok," Terra and Celes compared ring sizes, and they were the same. The ring fit Terra like a glove, then Celes put it on.
"It doesn't fit," she said, the ring got stuck mid finger. She tried the next finger, but it still didn't fit. She got it down to her pinkie, and it was still too small. "That's so strange.." Celes commented, truly vexed by the ring.
Terra and Edgar exchanged glances; the ring must have really been magically endowed. In the corner of the dining room, stood Cyan, watching jealously. He still held the rose in his hand, wilted and crushed.
"Curses! If only I hasdst told her aforenight, Edgar wouldst not have had a chance," he said to himself.
On the other side of the room, Gogo sat, observing the whole room.
Relm and Clyde were just finishing breakfast at the other end of the long dining room table, and Interceptor was gnawing on a bone.
Strago ate lightly, his mind still debating on what he should do for the time being.
"I know I still have many good years in me, and I don't want to squander them being retired. I don't know... what is there I haven't done?" he thought to himself. Relm caught sight of the old man, and turned to her father.
"Dad?" she said to him.
"Yes?" Clyde turned from feeding Interceptor.
"Gramps looks so down... I haven't seen him like this in a while, ever since I first went off to school. I think he has the retirement blues," she gazed down at the old man with love.
"I agree, what do you think we should do about it?" he asked, knowing her intentions already.
"Well, you said before we came that after the festival we would go touring the world, and make some money as mercenaries..."
"I did not say mercenaries. I said we could hire ourselves out as monster hunters, or detectives. I know that you like fighting monsters, it's in your blood." he said, arms crossed.
"Yeah, ok, monster hunters. Anyway, could we invite ol' Gramps along? Maybe it would do him some good to get out into the world again and do what he does best," she looked up at Clyde, who was smiling.
"That's a fine idea. Why don't you go ask him now; we have to leave a bit early if we want to make a detour into South Figaro," he told her. Relm grinned and skipped over to Strago.
"Hello, Gramps!" she said cheerfully. Strago instantly perked up.
"Hello, Relm! It's nice seeing you and Clyde."
"Yes, It's been nice seeing you too -- my dad and I, we have a proposal for you."
The old man gave her his attention.
"You seem a bit lonely, and well, we were planning to go touring the world and be monster hunters in the meantime. Would you like to come along? We could always use the company."
Strago smiled at the girl.
"I'd be honored! Why, you've come to the right man; when I was your father's age, I already had the reputation of the best monster hunter in the eastern world. I remember, back in the winter of '42, a very cold year if I remember correctly.." Relm sat and let him reminisce about "the good old days" when he traveled the world hunting monsters.
Edgar, now sure that all were present, whistled loudly to get everyone's attention.
"Excuse me, friends. Terra and I have discovered something that will be a bit shocking to you all," Edgar said. Terra stood by him.
"Yesterday, both Edgar and I, well, we found out that.." she paused.
"Magic is back," they said in unison. The group went into a murmur.
"Are you sure?" Celes asked. Terra commenced to demonstrate a spell.
"It's strange-- I've been able to just dream up spells now, not just the old Esper spells from before... Light and darkness, of water and word.. the flames of Kefka's domain burn.." Terra said, while concentrating on the spell. The appearance of the hall became that of Kefka's tower. The group looked around in awe, and stomach-turning loath. Terra lowered her arms, and the facade disappeared.
"See?" she said to them.
Within an hour, all of the people in the group had rediscovered a good amount of their magic. In the corner of the room, Gogo stood watching.
"It's time; the magic is here. All that I have to wait for is all of them to leave," he thought.
Clyde, Relm and Strago were soon on their way to South Figaro, and Setzer Locke and Celes home. Cyan stayed behind; he hid in the castle, hoping to get a chance to see if Terra was really in love with Edgar. Terra and Edgar were spending time together in loving bliss.
"Edgar... this ring's amazing," she looked at it , then kissed him lightly.
"It looks even better on you than it did on my mother. Hey, it goes well with your pendant." he said, suddenly noticing the Esper pendant.
"The red stone it's made out of is also rare. I've never seen another stone that color, and the strange crest. I wonder if it has any magical properties," she held the pendant up to the side of the ring. At that moment, Gogo came out of his hiding spot and stood before them.
"Gogo? You're still here?" Terra said.
He took hold of one of his garbs, and with a magic word, was dressed in normal clothes. He turned out to be a very handsome man, with long platinum colored hair, strong features, dark green eyes. He stood a couple inches taller than Edgar, and seemed to be about the same age. Terra was taken aback by his manly beauty, and instantly giving Edgar slight pangs of jealousy.
"This is how she must have felt each time I looked at another woman. I shouldn't worry --I know Terra loves me," Edgar thought.
Gogo stepped forward.
"Please, do not refer to me as 'Gogo'. My true name is Rantacore Kreiger, and you cannot fathom how long I have wished to present myself to you, Terra, most beautiful of ladies," he spoke with a Victorian English accent, and treated Terra in a very gentlemanly manner. Cyan was still watching them all from his hiding-corner.
"Well, Rantacore, why the cover for all this time? Whatcha hiding?" Edgar asked suspiciously, walking up behind Terra possessively. He still felt threatened by the handsome man. He noticed the way that Rantacore looked at Terra; it was the way that a wolf might eye a young lamb.
"It is a long story, and if you wouldn't mind I would rather not be forced into recounting it, sirrah," the words slithered out from behind Rantacore's straight teeth. Edgar nodded to be polite, though he felt a certain contempt in the tone of Rantacore's words. The three of them talked, actually, it was mostly Terra and Rantacore. She wanted to know about the handsome stranger who was not as much of a stranger as he seemed, but Edgar was just being nice in hopes that he would go away soon. Sabin rushed in from his morning jog around the castle.
"Hey, who's he?" the big guy asked.
"I am the one once known as Gogo. Thou mayest call me Rantacore." he extended a hand to Sabin.
"Pleased to meet you, um, I mean this way.. Uh?" Sabin had confused himself again. "Ok, I'm going to attend to some relations with Kohlingen. I'll see you tomorrow." Sabin exited.
Rantacore spent another hour talking with Terra. Edgar could tell that he was interested in her, and he didn't like it, especially because Terra was letting him.
"What's he have that I don't?" Edgar thought as he watched them talk. "Hmm, he's taller than me, he's got that 'holier than thou art' air about him, heck, he speaks like that too. Oh well.. I hope he'll go soon..." he looked at them, and Terra looked back at him and smiled. He returned Terra's smile graciously, but when Rantacore looked at him, Edgar smiled a sarcastic sneer back.
"Milady.." Rantacore began, than turned to the corner where Cyan was hiding. "Would all present in the room please show themselves?" he said louder and slightly annoyed. He began to show his power by telekinetically picking Cyan up off of the ground, and placing him back down in the middle of the room.
"Cyan! I thought you left! Have you been spying on us all day??" Terra asked shocked.
"As I was about to say, Miss Terra, I regret that I must inform you that your engagement to lord Figaro must be cut short," he said in a mater-of-factly tone. The others looked at him questioningly. "That is, my purpose for being here with you today is to send him off of this mortal world!" Rantacore raised off of the chair into the air. He was charging his powers, which could be seen since his eyes began to glow green. He turned to Edgar who did a double take when he saw the man floating in the air.
"What? Rantacore!" Terra screamed, confused. She tried to grab his shirt, but there was an energy field around him, and she was pushed away.
Rantacore was already moving towards Edgar, who was preparing to defend himself, making ready his magic. He knew, though, that if it came down to a physical fight he would be on the downside, having no weapon on him, while Rantacore was armed with a short rapier and leather armor. The two of them clashed their magic for a few minutes, while Terra was gathering enough energy to see if she could still turn into her Esper form.
"Cyan, help him!!" Terra cried from where she was standing and concentrating. Cyan wondered; with Edgar out of the way, he could have Terra all to himself. He hesitated, then saw that Rantacore began to have the upper hand on Edgar.
"He is my comrade: wouldst for me he not do the same?" he was posed to draw his sword, but he still was hesitant, the jealousy in his heart holding him back.
"His magic is more practiced than mine -- It seems you've known about magic not being gone for good since the beginning," Edgar said while dodging a magic blast. Rantacore responded nothing.
"Rantacore! Why do you want to kill him?? He's done nothing to you!" Terra screamed.
"Milady, his whole family line is reason enough for me to dispatch the likes of him, and if I am making my gamble correctly, being rid of him will save me worlds of trouble," Rantacore told her. Terra was completely confused by Rantacore's statement, and looked to Cyan.
"Why do you still do nothing!? Don't you see any need to help a friend?" Terra pleaded to Cyan. Immediately, he came to his senses.
"What am I doing! I am a true knight, and I must help him, jealousy or not," he thought. He unsheathed his trusty katana, Sky Render, but, too late.
Terra had tried to become her Esper form, and found out she still had it. Rantacore had battered Edgar to the corner of the hall, and was making ready to strike with a final spell.
Terra jumped, or rather flew at Rantacore with a fiery pink scream. She struck him with her clawed hand to his hand. He flinched it back, but the magic had already been invoked. With his other hand he seized Edgar's shirt, and directly shot a lightning spell into Edgar, making him weak so he be easier to kill. Terra could only see one thing to do, whether it pained her or not.
When the shock spell finished, she jumped in front of Edgar, the final spell hit her, and she went flying backwards.
"Terra!!" Edgar screamed as he watched her figure hit the ground. She still retained the pink Esper form, but no longer glowed.
"No..." Cyan said, frozen with shock.
"What? Dear Terra.. why?" Rantacore said, horrified by what he had just done. He glared at Edgar. "If she had never loved you, she would not have helped! Curse you, swine!" he readied once again to strike.
Edgar's heart had shattered at that moment, and his mind was in a red haze. He stood up tall and straight as if he had not been hurt the whole battle, and closed his eyes. He reached deep into the depths of his own being, and felt a strange, wild, wonderful power he had never tapped into, or let alone found before, and brought it forth. He rose off of the floor with a light, so bright that it made Rantacore and Cyan shield their eyes form it. Edgar opened his eyes, and they glowed with white light.
"You hurt her... I must hurt you," he said, his voice strong and authorative. "From the depths of time... Far back before zero... I call forth... Luminaire!!" he raised his hands to the sky in a swift movement, and the light pierced Rantacore. Rantacore could not resist the power and found himself falling to the floor in terrible pain.
"Nooo! It... has to be... the wrong era.. You have not seen the last of me!" Rantacore coughed out as he disappeared into a shadow.
Edgar lowered himself to the ground slowly. Cyan gawked in awe of the power that Edgar had just displayed. At this time, Edgar completely ignored his own pain and exhaustion; he was worried about one thing: Terra. He turned to where she had fallen, and in the spot he found her red Esper pendant and one small shiny shard of Magicite.