A Square Deal Chapter 9
Recap: Well, Edgar pulled off his stunt, but will he live to reap the benefits? And now we rejoin Clyde, Relm, Strago, Interceptor, Birdie and Clyde's parent's, Roland and Diane Arrowny. Where will they be off to to find the wayward butler?
"Edgar? Edgar, it's me, Terra. Oh... It's been long enough! Edgar please, you must wake up!"
From the abyss he heard her voice, like an echo in a dream. Was it real? Or was it an angel calling his name; had he died?
"Edgar, come on!" she shook him.
No, he knew now, he had made it through, and his plan had worked. Yes, he remembered now: he had passed out. That must have been a few minutes ago, maybe an hour. Time to get up.
"Unnnh..." he groaned softly as he stirred his sore body. Terra smiled with joy. He slowly opened his eyes, and looked at Terra, who was standing over him. His vision was blurred, but he made out her long, green hair and the shape of her face. He blinked a couple times and it cleared.
"Welcome back to the living, Edgar," she said, grasping his hand.
"Terra..?" he said weakly. He squeezed her hand.
"Edgar, thou art awake! I was afraid that thou might succumb to thy wounds," Cyan said with a smile.
"What happened to me?" Edgar said, trying to sit up. He didn't remember a bed? Terra gently held him down.
"Later, my love, later. You are still very weak, so rest. I'll be right here," she leaned down and kissed his lips. How he had missed her. He settled down again, relaxed in the knowledge that Terra had been found, and went to sleep.
He woke up again a few hours later. He felt much better than he had earlier, Terra must have used a stronger cure spell on him now that she knew that he was alright. The room was dark, and he could see an outline of a door. He stretched, and felt something warm lying on the bed next to him. He felt a hand; it was a small, soft, warm hand. There was also a ring on it. Now he knew who it was, it was Terra. He sat up, and his stomach muscles felt tight and sore. He noticed that he was no longer wearing a shirt. Now that he thought about it, the only thing that he was wearing was his underwear.
Terra woke up, and noticed Edgar. "You're up! Good," she said to him. She sat up, and stroked his shoulder, and sat closer to him, turning on a magic lamp beside her.
"My god, you're real. I'm so glad we found you. I would have given anything to find you," he said, stroking her soft, green hair.
"And you almost gave up everything, including your own life. You were unconscious for nearly a week. I was so afraid..." she told him, putting her head down on his shoulder. Her voice had trembled. "I should give you your last treatment."
She concentrated, then she laid her hands on his abdomen. Her hands glowed with a green light for a few seconds, making most of the tightness and pain disperse with the comfortable warmth of the cure spell.
"That feels much better," he looked at it. "Wow, not even a scar. Thanks," he kissed her. "Why did I remain unconscious for so long? I just blacked out for a moment."
"No, not just for a moment... Well, I guess I'll tell you about what's been going on. When Cyan came in carrying you, it freaked me out. He kept on calling, 'Terra, anyone, help him, damn it help him!' He quickly explained what you had done, and he said that he had taken the Relic Ring off, but your pulse was so weak, he could hardly feel it. You know, he has really warmed up to you, and considers you a very good friend. Anyway, he was so concerned and frenzied. I had to use life two to get your pulse back to a safe level. I think the problem had been that you were a lot weaker than you had thought you were. You overestimated your ability."
"I hope he wasn't blaming himself again. He had told me not to, but I didn't listen. It was my own fault if anyone was to blame."
"Well, you know Cyan. He'll blame himself for anything. He kept on muttering about, 'another young life.' Anyway, he's been on edge all week. He finally relaxed a bit when you woke up." She held tight to him. She has apparently been distressed about his condition too. She'd rather not think about losing him again.
"But you have to admit, it did get us in, didn't it?" he said with an optimistic grin.
"I don't want you risking yourself for me like that!" she told him, anger and fear washing over her tone. Now Edgar felt a bit guilty; she had been worrying about him so much, even as much as he had over her.
"Okay, Terra, I'll make a promise to you here and now," he whispered to her, and held her tightly in his arms. "I promise to you that I'll never put myself in unneeded danger for you, or anyone else. Does that help your fears any?"
"A little," she sighed, snuggling him in the embrace. "Thank you for loving me so much."
"I should thank you... There's never been a woman quite like you for me. I've never met anyone who has changed me as much as you have, and actually, I thank you for it. You've helped me mature."
"Anything for you. You know, the first time I saw you, I thought that you were a boorish, womanizing fiend," she commented.
"You mean I'm not?" he joked.
"No, you're a wonderful, kind-hearted, incredibly sexy man," she said with an emphasis on sexy.
"I think you look even more lovely now than the last time I saw you. You were always beautiful, but I think you just keep on getting better as the days go on... like a vintage wine. Actually... this might sound a little strange, but I find your Esper form very attractive too," he said, holding her in front of him to look into her lavender eyes. She blushed, and hugged him again. "Are the rest of the Espers here?" he asked her, the question popping to his head.
"Some of them are, and some of them live on the moon with King Bahamut. And then, there are other Espers here that I've never heard of. The head of the monsters down here is named Leviathan, and his wife is Ashura. Did you know that the Chocobo can be an Esper? And another thing, when I got here, they all kept on calling me 'Rydia.' They gave me these green dresses, and were talking to me about all of this stuff that I didn't know anything about. They would not let up until I found my father."
"You found him? That's great."
"Yeah. He cleared up that whole mix up. Otherwise, they've been good to me."
"I had a similar experience with mistaken identity. That little guy who arrived with us, thought I was a king who knew his king. But, I had never heard of this king Giott he spoke of, nor did I know that we had tiny people living in the underground. After a while, he decided that I wasn't who he thought I was." Edgar said. He pushed his hair back, then he noticed something.
"Hey, someone cut my hair!"
Terra giggled a bit.
"That was my idea. Your hair got all matted in the back, so I trimmed it a little. I wanted to cut it more, but I'll have your permission first," she said to Edgar.
"No..." he said a bit uneasily.
"Why? You could use a cut," she played with a lock of his bright yellow hair.
"I'll tell you something," he tried to explain. "You know how Sabin has hair that kind of spikes and sticks up? My hair is worse."
"I like his hair. What's so bad about yours?" she added.
"It'll spike up even when it gets longer. That's why I keep my hair really long and pulled back," he said adamantly.
But Terra made her sweetest expression.
"Please? I only wanna cut it a little, and you could still pull it back. But, I really like the natural look it has when left down..." she said with saccharin.
Edgar has very few weaknesses, but of them, his number one weakness is a lovely girl, especially when she's pleading.
"Ok... But --later, when we get home," he said, giving in.
"Alright! Goody," she knew she had won. "Come on, get dressed. I'll go tell Cyan and Langan that we'll be going to see Leviathan about getting permission to leave," she got up and left.
Edgar found a some clean clothes left for him on the dresser. He found his pack, and found a restroom. He cleaned himself up, a shave and such, and soon he looked as sharp as ever.
He left the building, and found Cyan, Langan, Seana and Terra waiting for him.
"Hello, king Edgar. I'm glad to see that you have recovered," Langan said.
"Thanks, Langan. Let's go."
The world of the Summoned Monsters seemed to be an alternate plane of existence. The world was stacked up on itself. It was bright, but if you looked up and over railings, there was nothing but a dark abyss. They had reached the library, where they ran into Maduin, Terra's father. Edgar really did run into him; while they both turned a corner they knocked each other down.
"Hey, watch were you're going..." Maduin said, then cut off when he saw Terra. "Terra! I was looking for you. How is your friend doing?" he said, getting up.
"He's much better now, though he might have been bruised from the floor," she extended a hand to Edgar to help him off of the floor.
"Oh, hello, sorry for bumping into you and all. I'm Terra's father, Maduin Branford. Now, you're one of her companions from the war?" he extended his hand.
"Yes, I was one of her comrades. I'm Edgar Figaro, king of Figaro," Edgar shook Maduin's hand.
"Oho, well, jolly good," he turned to Terra. "I'm glad you're not just here with him," he looked at Cyan, Langan and Seana. "I've heard that he's a real womanizer. You know, comes on to any woman he can see," he whispered.
"I think he's changed a bit," Terra said softly.
"I wouldn't want any man like him alone with my little girl," he said, giving Edgar a good look.
"Dad, I think that I'd better tell you something," Terra took Maduin aside. Edgar walked over to Cyan.
"I get the feeling that Maduin doesn't like me all that well." Edgar said.
"How so?" Cyan asked.
"I can tell. I've been with enough people who don't like me."
As Terra was breaking the news about her engagement to Maduin, they could hear Maduin saying: "No, you didn't? Not with him? Terra, you mother is doing a half-gainer in her grave! Is he rich? Don't go calling me Chinese, I want you well off. Sigh.. Ok. As long as you are happy." The two of them walked back over. Maduin approached Edgar. He looked unhappy, his furry tail drooping a bit, his ears drawn back. He eyed Edgar again, and his eyes flashed Magically.
"You be good to my Terra, and if you do her any wrong, be sure that you'll hear it from me. Count on it. Come on. I'll take you guys to Leviathan," he tromped off in front of them, his gray fur swaying as he walked. Terra took Edgar by the arm possessively; the little bout with her father made her feel a bit insecure.
They followed him down a magic elevator, down to the bottom floor where Leviathan, and his wife, Ashura resided. It looked different than the rest of the world of the summoned monsters. It was bright inside, comfortably furnished in a late Victorian style and there were fresh flowers in Chinese-style vases. They were welcomed in by a steward, who bade them to sit on one of the red velvet couches. Terra sat down next to Edgar, and Maduin sat on the other side of her, keeping an eye out for any inappropriate business. Cyan was checking out the paintings on the walls; there was one of a feudal lord, which intrigued him. Langan sat also, and Seana was tired, so she was resting her head on her father's lap.
"There is a line. It will be an hour before your turn is up. If there is anything you desire, just ask," the steward said. He was a tall, lanky man, or at least he seemed to be a man; you never quite know what is what in the land of the the summoned monsters.
When Terra heard of their delay, she glanced at Edgar, probably hatching one of those malicious plans that women always play upon men.
"Steward, might I have a comb, a smock and a pair of scissors?" she whispered to the Steward while Edgar was yakking merrily with Cyan and Langan. The Steward hastily retreated to a back room and brought back what she had requested.
In a few minutes, Edgar found himself very sleepy.
"Oh..." he yawned. "Boy, why am I so tired?" he said, rubbing his eyes.
"You're still not entirely healed. Even though I used magic upon you, you still need physical rest. So, why don't lie down and take a nap?" Terra said, as she used her magic to conjure up a pillow. She put the pillow down, and Edgar laid his head on it. Soon, he was snoring loudly.
"Perfect," Terra said, taking out the scissors.
"Terra, what, if I might ask, art thou up to??" Cyan asked, noticing the shears in her small hand.
"I know Edgar. He'll keep having me put this off if I keep asking him, and I can't wait that long. I've been wanting to do this to his hair ever since I met him. His hair is just too long: I don't like it. Anyway, really long hair is out of style for men -- I'll help him look a bit more trendy!" she said, putting the smock over him, so that his clothes would not be dirtied.
"What if he wakes up?" Langan asked.
"Who cares? It'll be funny!" Maduin interjected mirthfully.
"Father! Um, I guess I'll have to use sleep on him to keep him asleep," she concentrated her magic, and let the spell go. The effects looked like a soft mist, seeping into Edgar. He snored even louder now.
"Ok, here I go!!" She said, cutting the first lock off.
Relm was playing out in the winter snow of South Figaro with Interceptor and Birdie. Diane Arrowny, Relm's grandmother, watched her in bliss. Her husband, Roland, came out of the house and stood beside her.
"Oh Roland," she said to him, "I had lost all hope of ever having any grandchildren, let alone even seeing my dear boy again. This is like a dream come true! How is Clyde doing now? What did the doctor say?"
"Clyde's doing much better. His fever is down now, and the doctor said that the infection is gone. He should be recovered by tomorrow," Roland was referring to the infection in the wound that Clyde had received from the over-zealous butler, Sam, a few nights before. Clyde was inside with Strago, sitting in the lounge.
"We must go and look for the butler," Clyde said to the old man.
"Do you feel responsible for his disgrace?" Strago asked.
"Not really -- he's the one who jumped at me. But I also am wondering about where he is headed. He mentioned something about a sacred grove; I've never heard of such a thing, but dad says that he left a map behind in his haste. I'm going to go and look for him as soon as I'm able. It sounds like a grand mystery."
"And a grand adventure. You can count me in, Clyde! There's not much an old man has to risk anyway," Strago said, as feisty as ever.
The next day, Clyde insisted that they leave, to go seek out the mystical grove where Sam the butler went.
"My dear boy, please don't go yet!! I must be sure that you will be safe!" Diane said to Clyde upon his announcement. She did not want to lose her only son again.
"Mom, I'll be alright. Strago and Relm are coming too," Clyde answered her. It did not seem to reassure her the least bit more.
"I'm coming too, Clyde," a strong, low voice said from the hallway. It was Roland, and he was packing provisions in the kitchen.
"Roland!" Diane screeched, "What has gotten into you??"
"Diane, my sweet, it's been such a long time since I've been on any sort of trek into the outside world. You know that I shall fair well out there, I always have before," he put his arm around his wife's shoulder. She still seemed out of sorts. "I'll be there to look out for Clyde," Roland tried to reassure her. "Anyway, an adventurous spirit always goes along with the Arrowny bloodline," an amused, but affirmative 'Hmn' could be heard from Clyde upon that comment.
"But, you're in your fifties now..." Diane looked over at Strago. She decided to give in. "-Sigh- Ok. Be careful, and come back safely."
Later that morning, they were set. They packed their items onto Birdie, who was eager to be off, then they bid their good-byes to Diane and the rest of the household staff, and took to the skies in search of the sacred grove.
Up in the blue sky Birdie flew swiftly, over the snow blanketed fields of South Figaro. From above, they could see how the terrain was changing around the desert. The grass and shrubbery was creeping closer to the sands. For a couple hours they flew about, searching for a dense forest. Then, they narrowed it down to one dreaded place: The dragon forest. It had been the phantom forest before, but now it was a place where dreaded reptilian beasts roam around free. It was not a pleasant place.
"I hoped that we wouldn't end up here, but it looks like this is the right place," Clyde said to the others. They all peered down at the dread wood. "Come on, Birdie. Let's go down."
"Clyde, I don't like that place. I smell evil down there..." Birdie reported anxiously.
"Birdie, don't worry. You don't have to accompany us in," Relm reassured the dragon. In truth, Relm was feeling rather anxious herself about going into such a dangerous place.
"Relm, I'll come with you. I must protect you -- I love you, Relm," the dragon said, with a happy coo. They descended, at the entrance to the wood. They got off, but left the provisions on Birdie, who followed after. They walked on for a while.
"This place is not as bad as I thought it would be," Roland said, taking a look around. Inside, it seemed like any normal forest, with it's tall pine trees; soft, earthen ground, scattered with fallen pine needles and branches. All seemed rather innocuous, except for the fact that not any sound, beside the wind, and an occasional falling branch, could be heard. There were no animals, not even a bird. This unnerved Clyde.
"I don't trust this place at all. I can't place it, but I don't like it," Clyde said, looking about warily.
"I know what it is," Strago said. "There are no animals here. Not a stir of a squirrel, of a chirp of a bird. Could one of those horrible creatures be near?" He was referring to the terrible, dragon-like creatures who lived in the forest.
"I hope that it isn't," Relm said, from the back. She was petting Birdie's head to keep him from getting nervous. But a couple of minutes later, a rustle and a rumble came through the woods. Clyde looked about nervously, and kept a finger on his knife.
And out from the trees came a putrid creature, knocking down every tree in its way.
"My god, Clyde, what the hell is that thing?" Roland asked his son, watching the beast roar and snarl malevolently.
"That's one of the beasts! The dragons! Everyone, get into attack positions!!!" Clyde said, before he leapt to the side, dodging the creature's fist lunge. They all scattered, Roland was a bit slower, trying to get into the swing of things once again. But Birdie huddled behind a tree, cowering from the monster. Birdie was big, but he did not view himself as a viscous fighter.
"Don't worry, Birdie, we'll fight off this bunghole!" Relm called out to her friend. She whipped out her magically-charged paintbrush and readied herself for the attack.
Clyde danced lightly around all of the beasts attacks like they were nothing. He was quite an acrobat. He had already sliced a good couple holes into the thing, and was ready to strike again when from the other side, another horrible lizard came rushing in. This one took advantage of the others, occupying Relm and Strago to itself. Clyde realized that their intent was to subdivide them.
"They're not as stupid as you might think. Keep on giving it to them!!" Clyde called out. Distracted for that one moment, a dragon took advantage of it and swiped at Clyde. He dodged to the side, avoiding any serious wounds, but receiving a scratch to the leg. Clyde stumbled and fell with a skid. He sat up, and examined it; the scratch ran down the outside of his thigh, and was pretty deep. He slowly tried to get up, and did with a lot of pain. Roland saw Clyde wounded, and remembered his promise to his wife, so he held his longsword out, and swung it around deftly, the battle bringing the skill back to him. He took a good swat to the creature's forearm of which it had attacked Clyde with, and the arm came away from the rest of the body.
"Are you alright, son?" he asked Clyde.
"I'm fine, dad. Let's finish this thing off together, shall we?" Clyde said with a vengeful smile. Together, they struck at the creature's torso, and both blades entered. They struck true, and pierced the evil beast's heart. With one last bellow, the dragon fell.
Meanwhile, Relm and Strago were not having such an easy time. This beast was bigger, and meaner that its partner in hunting. Strago had been throwing some lores at it, but they just seemed to bounce off. Relm painted it's picture a few times, injuring it with it's own force, but the creature was still going hot and heavy.
It snapped it's great jaws at Relm, and she screamed out in terror. Birdie saw this, and felt the terror of his friend. She had dropped her brush and was scrambling to look for it. Birdie knew that Relm was in trouble, and the desperation got to him.
Birdie stepped menacingly forward from hid hiding spot, and screamed a great piercing rage. It got the creature's attention. Birdie seemed changed; now he no longer seemed to be a ball of fluff and feathers, but a real, honest-to-god dragon, which he was. He bared his teeth ferociously, and spread his feathery wings out. Before the other beast could react, Birdie jumped onto the other creature, and began to tear at it viscously. Relm watched in amazement, for her wimpy Birdie had just begun to tear an evil monster limb from limb. And that is exactly what he was doing. Soon, the beast was a heap of dismembered flesh, bleeding on the ground. Birdie himself had suffered no injuries, but was covered in his adversaries blood, and he was still hissing at it in rage.
"Birdie!? You-- you..?" Relm said in amazement. "You rescued me!! And you fought, you didn't cower!" she was a bit afraid to approach him.
"Relm, I want you to be safe. I felt a power within me, Relm, something close by..." Birdie wandered in a westward path, leading to the center of the forest.
"Birdie, where are you going?" Relm asked.
"I must find the source," the fluffy white dragon answered. Clyde approached his daughter, limping, and wiped his bloodied blade on the grass.
"Birdie, wait. We'll go where you want, but let us clean up here. Maybe what's drawing you is what Sam was looking for."
"Ok, Clyde. I shall wait for you to rest. Well enough, I'm hungry, so I'll chew on the creature's carcass, if you don't mind," Birdie asked, now more cheerful.
"Go ahead, Bird. Eat all you'd like, you earned it," Clyde said kindly. He was going to approach his father to thank him, but the scratch on his leg was sore and bleeding. He had to sit down. He was being cautious, for the wound could be worse than he thought. There was no use in making it worse by being prideful.
"Clyde, are you alright? Do you need some help with that?" Strago asked.
"I'm ok, I'll live. Could you get my water canteen and a bandage?" he asked, pulling up the ripped pant leg. Strago fetched the items, and Clyde cleaned the wound up. Relm and Roland were by Birdie, cleaning the blood off of his feathers/fur. They noticed that Clyde was silent for a few seconds, and then a green light shone. In a few moments, he joined them, still limping, but in less pain. It was getting dark, and they were all tired from the battle and hike through the forest. Birdie was clean, dry and fed now, so he was ready for a snooze as well. Clyde, Roland, Strago and Relm cooked a bit of the dragon meat (which turned out to be quite tasty) for dinner. Birdie curled up protectively around the camp, and the rest went to sleep against his furry warm body.
Edgar woke up again. He felt rested now, even though he had not been asleep all that long. Though he was awake, he did not open his eyes, because he didn't feel like it yet. He was listening to the others speak.
"And he didst sayeth that it would look horrendous? For it doth not seem to be anywhere near horrendous, but I may not beeth the most proficient judge of manly beauty," he heard Cyan say. What exactly were they discussing?
"I think him look so trendy and cool!! Ooh! I'm glad I did this!! He looks even cuter now!!!" Terra squealed in delight. He was becoming even more suspicious.
"I still don't like him," Maduin said. So what else is new?
"Hmm, maybe he does look more like that upper world king than I thought," Langan commented. What in the world was up?
"I think Mr. Edgar looks like a handsome prince now with his new haircut!" Seana said.
What?!? He had to open his eyes now.
"Nice, Seana. He's better than a prince, he's a king!" Terra said with a smile. He opened his eyes and looked at her. "And look what I did with the chopped locks!!" She held up a golden braid, with a red ribbon tied to the end. Then Terra noticed that Edgar had awakened, and she turned red. He sat up with an incredulous look on his face. He took the braid out of Terra's hand, and looked at it, as if to make sure that it was his own hair. Then gingerly touched the back of his head, and stroked his hair to where it ended.
"Uh oh," Seana said, hiding behind her father. Edgar looked at Terra.
"What happened to my hair?" he asked slowly. Quite a rhetorical question. Terra cowered a bit.
"I cut it. Edgar... I should have asked you, but it was so tempting," she said placatingly.
"I told you that it looks terrible like this," he said, refraining from admonishing her any, for he knew it did no good to yell.
"Actually, Edgar, it doth not look anywhere near as bad as thou thought it would," Cyan said.
"Mirror," Edgar said angrily. Terra fetched him a mirror, and he moved off to go scrutinize on his own. Terra walked over to Cyan.
"I hope he's not too angry. I don't want this to put a crimp in our relationship," but before Cyan could answer her, Edgar walked over to them. He looked pleased, but he was trying to conceal it.
"Terra, come to the corner with me," he whispered to her. He led her over to a corner, and had a few words with her, then he planted a big, long kiss on her.
"He apparently doesn't mind anymore," Langan said to Cyan.
"I'm glad. King Edgar and Terra make a pretty couple. I bet that they'll have cute children!" Seana said with a big smile. That reminded Cyan of his own losses. He had neither his family nor Terra.
The steward came back in.
"Lord Leviathan will see you now. Come this way," the steward walked off in a dainty fashion. They followed him into the dark chamber of Leviathan. There, a pretty woman sat on a throne.
"Are these people here to challenge me and Levi? Bring them forth," she said, and the woman before them melted away, and in her place was a creature with multiple faces and six arms. It was Queen Ashura.
"No, my queen, they are with Maduin and Terra. They come with a request to Lord Leviathan," the steward said. She reverted back to the woman, and dismissed the steward.
"You have been waiting? Oh my, it is you Terra, how nice! Are these your friends?" Ashura asked them.
"Yes, My Queen. This is Cyan Garamonde, from my time, and this is Langan and Seana of the Dwarf kingdom," they bowed to the Queen.
"And who may this handsome man be?" Ashura said, giving Edgar a look over.
"Ah, yes. He is King Edgar Figaro, my fiancee," Terra said, while Edgar bowed.
"You are quite a beautiful Queen, in both of your aspects," he kissed her hand. She giggled.
"Quite a charmer. And Maduin I already know. Alright, I shall fetch the King," she trotted off to find Leviathan.
"You know how to grease the wheels, don't you?" Terra said to Edgar.
"I know just about every trick in the book," he said with his famous grin. In walked in a short man with a pointy hat on.
"I am Leviathan. What is your bidding?" he asked.
"Um..." Terra said, nervous.
"Let me do the talking," Edgar told her. "Lord Leviathan, we beseech you; please let Terra leave this place. We have dire perils that we need Terra to help us with. And, she was taken away from us unfairly, by an evil rogue. She does not deserve to remain down here," Edgar said in a voice that was not too bold, nor too humble.
"Give me none of your fancy speech. And the answer is no. We let no one leave anymore. Not after the battles with Zeromus. None of you can leave, actually. I see that you are very clever, Edgar, faking your own death at the door to get in. Well, you might as well be dead now," he said tartly.
All of a sudden, a great boom was heard in the hall, and a formidable looking dragon appeared, and peered down at Leviathan.
"Leviathan! What have I told you about keeping mortals here against their will? That was never what I had in mind when I began," the dragon roared.
"Forgive me, Dread Lord Bahamut!!! You make the decision, please!!" Leviathan cowered. So that's who it was; Bahamut, King of the dragons. "I hate these confrontations. For years I have had Monsters and mortals alike come and ask, 'Leviathan this, Leviathan that.'"
"Do you tire of your duties, Levi?" Bahamut asked.
"Yes, Bahamut, you know me well."
"Then you take your wife on a sabbatical for a while. I shall attend to things down here for now."
"But what about the moon?"
"It is in order. Go, cool your head and relax for a while. Now," Bahamut said with a tolerant, toothy grin.
"Thank you, My Lord. Ashura!!! Come, my dear, we're going on vacation!!" Levi hollered.
"We are? Finally?" Ashura said from the other side of the chamber. She came running across with an already packed suitcase. "Let's go!" And with a wave of Leviathan's hand, they were gone.
Bahamut relaxed and sat his great dragon body down. Bahamut chose not to take a humanoid shape, for he liked to make a lasting impression upon his guests.
"So, Edgar. You come to ask us to let your Terra go? Well, that is quite a thing to ask, for she came here as a fallen Esper, and she should stay here..." Bahamut said with a cool voice.
"We need her! She has no need to remain here," Edgar protested. Bahamut roared and his eyes flashed.
"You speak back to the great Bahamut?!" he raised his wings up. But Edgar was still defiant.
"There is an evil out there and we need all of the help we can get. Terra's magic is the best I've ever encountered," Bahamut still roared.
"Isn't that enough?" asked Edgar, almost angry. "What more of a reason do you need? Must I tell you that people out there love her, and call her friend? That for the children of Mobilz, she is a special guardian and mother?" Bahamut remained unmoved.
"Most of all, I need her! She is the one person who has ever had the power to touch my heart in the deepest way, and without her I'm nothing! Is your heart made of stone, dragon king? Do you not know the burn of true love?" Edgar yelled.
Terra held close to him, and tried to calm him. Edgar was screaming from his heart, and that's where his hidden power lay. It welled up again, as it had when Rantacore struck Terra. Edgar's eyes flashed, and Bahamut recognized the power. The mighty dragon chuckled.
"Your spirit impresses me, King Figaro. It is refreshing to find someone who does not cower under overwhelming power. I shall tell you something, Figaro, I know about the danger. It is great, more so than I think even I can handle. It's something ancient. Take your Terra, young Edgar. But I give her to you not because of her magical prowess, but because you need her. I have a heart, and it knows the kind of love you have," Bahamut said, finally changing from his dragon form to humanoid. He looked like a man with black hair, about 40 or so, and a handsome, rugged face. Terra screamed in joy, and leapt up on her beloved to plant a kiss on his face.
"Thank you, Lord Bahamut," Edgar said, with equal joy as Terra.
"It brings me a bit of happiness to see another happy. I let you go with full knowledge of how great this evil you face is. I tell you, it is nothing like ever before. So, to the both of you and your present companions, Cyan, Langan and Seana, I shall give the ability to call upon any summoned monster or Esper you wish whenever you need them. You may even call upon me, greatest of all the dragons," Bahamut said without any modesty, because he spoke the truth. "Hand me her Magicite, Edgar," Bahamut held his hand out, and Edgar put it there. Bahamut made a fist, and the Magicite was gone. He beckoned the steward back in.
"Take them to the hidden exit," Bahamut told him, then he turned to Edgar. "You may come back whenever you wish without enduring the cave. Just remember where the hidden gate is."
He bid them farewell, and they followed the steward out of the chamber.
"Are we going home now?" Seana asked her father.
"Yes, I think we are," he answered. The steward lead them to a pathway behind a bookshelf.
"This is the way back to the entrance. Be well." The steward gestured to the path.
"Finally, we doth leavest this place!" Cyan said with relief, and headed to the path, and disappeared.
"Come, Seana, it's time to go," Langan said.
"Yay!!" Seana cheered. They both went in together.
"You go first. I want to be sure that you leave this place," Edgar said to her, holding her by the shoulders. He kissed her, and then she walked in. He waited a moment, looked back at where he had been, and stepped through. He found himself outside, on the other side of the mound where the entrance to the cave was.
"We made it!! Oh, I'm so glad to be out of there, Edgar! Let's go home now," Terra said to him.
"Would you like us to escort you and Seana home, Langan? It's the least we could do," Edgar said to him.
"Don't trouble yourself, King. There are no more monsters out here, and our kingdom is not far. Be on your way home. And thank you for your help," Langan said.
"Thank you, Edgar," Seana said as well. Edgar smiled, and patter her on the head.
"Be in good health!" Cyan said, and waved. They all waved a good-bye to Langan and Seana.
"Well, Edgar. Let me see how you made my pendant work," Terra said. Edgar took the pendant from around his neck.
"Here we go... Back home," he moved the key's setting back to where their time would be. He pressed the trigger, and the portal opened.
"After you," Edgar said to Terra and Cyan. Terra hesitantly looked at it, and dallied, so Edgar stood behind her. He tickled her sides, she screamed, and fell into the portal.
"Edgar? You.....!" her words were lost as she disappeared.
"Heh, recompensation for thine hair?" Cyan asked.
"Yup," Edgar chuckled. He and Cyan both jumped in at the same time.