A Square Deal Chapter 5
Time for Time
Recap- Rantacore, Luminaire, Magicite. (Hey, if you don't know what I mean, read the previous chapter!)
"NOOO!!" Edgar screamed when he realized what had happened. "No, no, no....." he picked up the Magicite shard. The shard was still warm and sparkling with magical energy, and inside the crystalline green structure he could see the figure that distinguished each magicite from the other, which was a tiny figure of the Esper it belonged to. In this case it was Terra's fiery Esper form.
He stared down at the shard for a while, his eyes wide in terrible disbelief. He finally slumped back into the corner, his expression still unchanged except for the fact that tears were dripping from his eyes onto the magicite in his hand.
Cyan stood shocked and disgusted with himself.
"I should have helped Edgar when I had the chance. 'Tis my fault.." he thought, and a tear trickled down his cheek. He looked at the other man; battered and greif-stricken, sitting in the corner of the hall almost catatonic... He could not look anymore, and turned away, feeling terrible guilt.
Edgar finally closed his eyes and clasped the magicite to his chest, covering up a quick twinkle from it.
"E..d..g..a..r..." a voice said, as if it were carried in on the wind.
"Who -- who is it?" he looked around with red eyes, seeing no one.
"It's me..." it answered softly. He felt the magicite burn hotly, and opened his hands; the Magicite shard glowed pulsatingly.
"Invoke it..." the voice said again.
"Invoke? Oh. I call upon the Esper... Terra!" the Magicite glowed brighter, and floated up from his hands.
The shard continued to glow with more intensity until the stone itself was no longer there, for in its spot appeared Terra in her pink Esper form floating above him.
"Good -- I can talk easier when I'm solid. Don't worry about me, Edgar, I'm fine," she looked down at him with a gentle smile.
"How? Aren't you dead? I -- I mean I don't want you dead.. but.." Edgar stuttered, quickly wiping the tears from his eyes as best he could, and smiling a dull smile.
"No, no, not at all," she said in a casual tone. "Since I was in my Esper form at the time I was hurt, the Esper nature in me worked. See, Espers never truly die, they just are transported to a different dimension after they are severely wounded. Magicite is left as a place holder in the previous world for the Esper who has left, and is able to briefly travel back to the previous dimension... That's also why I have to use my Esper form to speak with you, because only Espers can make the trip through magicite.
Edgar, I need to warn you. Rantacore is more than he seems. There is something going on here that is more than just a psycho good-looking guy who hates you. Even the head of the Espers knows it, and there is talk of an old problem coming back. Your dreams were not for jest; you had a real vision! Now it is up to you to go find out what it is."
"I don't care about that anymore! I want you back! Is there anyway you can come back permanently?" he asked with resolve.
"I can come back, but only if someone from your dimension comes and receives me, and gets the permission of the head Esper... but the main problem in that is finding a way into this dimension..." she said, stating the picklement.
"Can you guide me to where it is somehow? With magic?"
Terra thought for a moment, and then a flash went off above her head: an idea! "Um, give me my pendant," she held her hand out and Edgar did as he was told. Her hand glowed red for a moment, then she opened her hand up, and gave it back to Edgar. The pendant shimmered. "I learned this trick from one of the really old Espers here. The energy I just infused into this stone will hone in to the only place where a human can enter the dimension. So... if you can figure out how to tap the power correctly, you can find out where I am," she looked at him, and noted his ragged condition. "You really don't need me to come with you... you should really get started on finding out what's going on before you challenge this obstacle..."
"I won't go anywhere without you," he touched her hand.
Terra knew that she could not change his mind now.
"Ok... When you need some help, just call me. I must go now; Magicite only permits a fixed amount of time."
"I'll do whatever it takes."
"Bye, I love you," she said, saddened to have to part again, and knowing of the treacherous route ahead of him.
"I love you..." he said as her figure disappeared, and the Magicite was back in his hand.
Cyan, who had witnessed the whole exchange, decided to finally say something.
"How wouldst thou find out what that red pendant does?" he asked gingerly.
"I don't really know, but, I'll figure it out," he held the pendant out in front of him.
"Is there any way that I might be of assistance?" Cyan asked. He did want to help in any way that he could, for he felt solely to blame for Terra's state at the moment.
"Hmm, could you go down to the engine room and ask the old man for a box of parts?" Edgar asked, then sat down on a chair, already examining the pendant feverntly. Cyan left to look for the box, and in a few minutes he was back with it.
After a couple hours of tinkering and deep thought, Edgar finally rejoined Cyan who had gone into the hall to practice his skills to get his mind re-focused.
"Hast thou come up with a use for that empowered relic?" Cyan asked him.
"The only thing I could do was put an electronic harness on it that will concentrate the energy that is in the pendant. It has a dial for energy levels, and various other switches that augment the energy. The thing is, when I release the energy, I have no idea what will happen. It could explode or just fizzle out. Shall we give it a go?" he said, holding up the device, that looked like a key on a string.
"Do what thou hast to," Cyan said.
Edgar held the key in the air, and pressed a trigger on the electronic tap. The pendant flashed, then the the tip, which was the pendant side, emitted a strong beam of light, which blasted Edgar backwards and against the wall.
"Souls of the dead....!" Cyan said in oath, reacting to the sight he beheld while shielding his eyes.
The beam of light formed a whirling vortex of energy, which resembled a plate held in midair on it's side.
"Sir Edgar! Dost thou seest the wonder? Edgar?" Cyan looked to where Edgar had been pushed.
Edgar had been turned towards the wall when he was thrown, and had hit his head on the stone wall, and now was crumpled in the corner, unconscious, with a noticeable bruise forming on his head. Cyan knelt down beside him.
"Hmm. Thou hast truly taken a beating from Rantacore prior to this. Too preoccupied with Lady Terra to worry about thy own being..." he said, shaking his head. He hefted Edgar to a couch.
"Rest here. But since thou art asleep for now, therefore, I must investigate this.. gate?" Cyan moved to the vortex.
He took the rose which he still had in his belt.
"If this gate be safe for a delicate rose, than it must be safe for something stronger,"
He put the flower into the center of the gate. He held it by the tip of the stem, and put it all the way in, then pulled it out; it was fine. He tried it again, this time, looking at it from the other side. He saw that there was nothing where the rose should have been.
"I shall try it on myself now," he put his pinky finger in first, then pulled it out. It felt slightly tingly, but nothing else. Then, he put his whole hand in. Nothing happened.
"Hmm... I shall consult lady Terra on this matter." he took the Magicite from Edgar's pocket. "I call upon the Esper Terra!" he said while holding it up.
"You rang?" Terra said, then noticed that Edgar was lying unconscious. "Oh my, what happened?" she asked Cyan.
"When he used thy amulet, it blasted him backwards, hitting the wall. The energy formed this whirl to my left. I summoned thee to consult on what it might be, since the expert is unconscious for the time being,"
"Oh. Great! Edgar did a fantastic job! This is a gate should lead to where I am. If you step through, it's... er, supposed to bend time and space, taking you instantly to the designated spot. I'm not really sure of the dynamics of the thing myself. Tell Edgar that he should put it on a lower setting if he doesn't like being blown backwards, and that he has plenty of time, so don't rush. Ok?" she said nicely.
"I thank thee, Lady Terra. I will see thee again when we arrive."
Terra nodded, and then disappeared.
The Chancellor strode in, lured by the noise of what had just happened.
"Sir Cyan! What has happened here...!" he noticed the whirling gate, and the king slumped carelessly on the couch, and began to heave and wheeze in anxiety. Cyan calmed him, and filled him in on what happened.
"I should call his brother back. Maybe he could talk some sense into his Highness," the chancellor said after they had gotten Edgar into his room and into his bed.
"I truly doubt that Sir Edgar wouldst not go after Lady Terra. He loveth her so, he wouldst be worse off if he did not," Cyan said sincerely.
"I guess you're probably right. But, I still need to send for Sir Sabin, someone will need to attend to the throne while the king is gone."
The chancellor sent a letter by pigeon to Kohlingen, explaining to Sabin what had happened. Sabin arrived back arrived by magical means within the hour.
"Chancellor! Where is my brother?" he said, bursting through the front door.
"He's in his room, resting. Don't worry, Sir Cyan is monitoring his condition."
"Cyan? What's he doing here? I thought he left?" Sabin was a bit suspicious. He made his way to Edgar's room.
"How is he?" Sabin asked Cyan, who had been sitting at his bedside.
"He's faring better now. Damn my foolishness..."
"Excuse me?" Sabin asked.
"I suppose I shouldst tell thee. I, being jealous of thy brother, remained in the castle to spy. Then, Sir Gogo turned into that cad, Rantacore. He hast no quarrel with the Lady, only with thine liege. I hast the chance to assist him, but I chose not to. Lady Terra even pleaded with me to, yet I hesitated to until it became too late... Terra stepped in, and 'tis the reason why she is lost. I feel so unclean... I hast no idea that my jealousy would go to that length. Please, I must beseech all for forgiveness..."
"I forgive you, Cyan.." it was not Sabin's voice.
"Hey! You woke up! How you feeling bro?" Sabin said, before Cyan looked up. Edgar had sat up and rubbed his forehead, which now had a black-and-blue bump on it.
"Like I fell from the sky again... this time on my head. Cyan, I knew your intentions, and under the circumstances, I probably would have reacted in the same way. But, there's no time to dwell on bygones, I must find Terra..." he was trying to get out of bed.
"Oh no you don't! You'll give the chancellor a coronary if you go now. Please, just rest up for a couple days. You can tinker with that gate key thing..."
"It's Terra's pendant," Edgar interrupted tartly.
"Whatever. Give your body time to recuperate; it'll be easier for you to find her if you're in better condition. I don't want to lose my only brother..." he said again. Sabin was getting the hang of this nurturing business.
"Alright, then... I'll rest two days and two days only," Edgar said in his, "I'm the king and my word is law," tone of voice.
"Then we'll leave you alone. Send for a maid if you need anything."
"I will. Later."
The two men left. Edgar picked up the pendant which was on his night stand.
"So, this thing bends time and space? If I can figure out how to make this thing work for any time and place... what a device to have!" he started to divine ways that he might make the mystical device work better.