Glenn trudged up the steep trail of Mt. Denodoro. He was hopping much slower than in his youth, as he was far past his prime. However, he was still a dangerous adversary for any foe with the combination of his holy sword, the Masamune, and Cyrus' old medal, which seemed to enhance the Masamune's power.
He breathed the chilly, fresh air in deeply, watching his sigh hover in the air until it vanished. The bushes began to rustle, as three bird-like creatures stepped out of the foliage.
"Hey, take a look at that frog. Bet he'd be mighty tasty slow-roasted over a campfire, eh Tick?" one said.
The second nodded, adding "And whatta sword! I heard that it was the one that took the Magus out. The 'Thingy-mune'. We could make a mint outta that." Tick said. The third one just hoarsely laughed.
"I adviseth thee to stay back, fiends!" Glenn cautioned the advancing thieves, the Masamune ready in his hand.
"To bad we only take our own advice." Tick said. "Mite! Grub! Get him!" The other two birdmen came closer to Glenn, swinging their weapons, one of them still dryly laughing like a maniac.
Tick started pelting the old frog with stones, only to have most of them blocked and rebounded by Glenn's agile movements with the Masamune. He stopped to rub his bruised beak.
The laughing bird leapt upon Glenn, some very long knives brandished. Glenn thrust upward with the Masamune, but the flat of the sword had been facing the thief, so rather than slicing through his opponent, Glenn ended up sending him sprawling into the bushes. Still laughing, the bird struggled to his feet and readied himself for another assault.
The only uninjured birdman leapt into Glenn's face, twirling like a tornado with his weapon sticking out. The frog warrior was fortunate enough to evade the attack for the most part, only receiving a few scratches in his tough armor.
"Phew!" sighed Tick. "This old guy is tougher that I expected. Grub!" he yelled to the laughing free lancer. "Try again." Grub tried to throw one of his knives, but Glenn deftly leapt out of the way.
"I tell thee once more, leave me now, and I shall do thee no harm." Glenn calmly said once more.
Tick, Mite, and Grub all kept their weapons out, and advanced closer to Glenn.
"Then thou leavest me with no choice." the frog sighed. His was suddenly surrounded by four glowing blue orbs as he mumbled a short incantation. Before the free lancers could react, a flood fell upon them from the sky, washing them away.
"You haven't seen the last of us!' hollered Tick and Mite in unison, while Grub continued laughing all the way down as they were whisked over the edge of the cliff. Grub's eerie giggles ended with the sound of three sickening thuds.
"Phew..." said Glenn. "I haven't fought like that in since I was by Crono's side. That boy fought... like a true knight, like..."
"Cyrus!" Glenn cried. "We've been ambushed!" Cyrus bounded up, his sword glowing in the light of the campfire. Glenn drew his own sword, and Rhiannon grabbed her bow and fit an arrow in it. They were surrounded by large frogs.
The three of them stood there, back to back so as to defend each other. From Cyrus' side came a large blobish form out of the forest, followed my many hopping frogs like those that were in a circle around the three travelers.
"The Frog King!" gasped Cyrus as the larger figure revealed itself.
"Groik! Who'd you expect, Lady Flea?" he responded.
"Lady Flea..." mumbled Glenn. He still had a bone to pick with her. After all, she had tried to murder him in her quest to take out King Guardia.
"Silence!" roared the Frog King. "You think you could take the Hero Medal from me, do you?"
"That is what I intend to do, Frog King. That badge is essential for our quest." Cyrus solidly stated.
Glenn and Rhiannon looked at Cyrus, afraid that he would reveal too much about their mission. If the Frog King knew that they were searching for the Masamune, he could very well let Magus know, turning King Gaurdia's attack plans upside-down.
"Croak! What quest?" inquired the Frog King. The smaller frogs continued their dancing poses around the three heroes, silly and seemingly harmless, but dangerous in large numbers.
"It is none of your business, pollywog!" Cyrus bravely declared.
"Riiiiibiiit!" croaked the Frog King. "Answer me, or perish, fools!" The small frog army started to move in on Cyrus, Glenn, and Rhiannon. Rhiannon looked towards her brother as if to ask "What are you doing?!"
Cyrus held his sword high. "I think you will regret trying to make us perish, Frog King." He began to walk closer in the direction of the bloated amphibian, slashing at a frog that was in his way. It hopped out of the way just in time, barely escaped with its life.
"Glenn! Rhiannon! Attack!" Cyrus roared, as he charged towards the two frogs guarding their liege. Glenn swung his sword at the frogs that were trying to bring him down since Cyrus started this attack against their own captors. Glenn tried to get away with only injuring or stunning them, as even though he was one of the best in the kingdom with a sword, he found it hard to kill anything that he wouldn't eat, and dozens of bloody frogs didn't appeal to his appetite. The frog fighters were to close to Rhiannon for her to use her bow properly, so all she could really do was hit them with it and stab the occasional opponent with a hand-held arrow.
Cyrus was moving closer and closer to the Frog King, who was slowly retreating, but subtly enough that he hoped that neither Cyrus nor his army would notice his inner fear.
As Cyrus took another of the King's guards out of his way, the Frog King finally took a deep breath in, which inflated his enormous body somewhat, and said. "Come on! You want to fight for the medal, hero? Grooooiiik! I'll take you on any day!"
Most of the frog army had been killed, stunned, or chased away by Glenn and Rhiannon, so they were the only ones to watch the battle between the knight and the Frog King. However, Glenn suddenly winced, feeling a wound that had not borne him pain in the battle, during which his mind was on other matters, but now he fell to his knees, clutching his shoulder.
"Are you all right?" Rhiannon asked, pulling the cork out of a bottle of tonic, preparing to rub it into the wound. "How did those short little frogs injure you all the way up there on your shoulder?"
"I dunno... it hurts, but I think I'll be fine." Glenn said, trying not to look weak in front of Rhiannon. It was bad enough that she saved Cyrus and Glenn's lives a couple days ago.
They both turned to face Cyrus and the Frog King. "Come on, knight. You want the Hero medal? Why don't you fight me for it?" the fat frog said, still egging Cyrus on, but not really trying to battle.
"Very well." replied Cyrus. He raised his sword into the air, and Glenn and Rhiannon could tell that he was going to use he trademark "Nirvana Strike" maneuver. In a flash, the Frog King was bleeding in several places on his body.
"Riiiibiiiit! How dare you pick on a helpless little froggy like me?!" the King roared.
"Little?..." mumbled Glenn and Rhiannon.
"All right..." said the Frog King, seeing that he was outnumbered, wounded, and without an army. "Take the filthy medal! I didn't really like it all that much anyway." He threw the Hero medal out into the grass, and limped away into the woods.
"Phew..." said Glenn. "I hope I never see another frog again as long as I live." He winced as he felt the pain of his wounded shoulder once again. "Owwww! That tonic helped a little, but it still hurts." he said to Rhiannon.
Putting her arms around him, she said. "Do you want me to help it feel better?' She leaned to kiss him, when Cyrus interrupted.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you, Rhiannon." he warned. "If Father found out, he'd lock you up in your bedroom until you were forty."
"All right." Rhiannon sighed. "We'll wait 'till Cyrus isn't looking." she whispered to Glenn.
"Well, we have the Hero Medal." Cyrus said, picking it up and wiping the frog blood off of it in the grass. "Next stop, the Holy Forest, to get the Masamune."
"Rhiannon..." mumbled Glenn as he continued hiking up the path to the peak of Mt. Denodoro. What would she think of him if she saw him today. He had changed so much...
It had been years since he saw her last, feeling her soft hair and breathing in the light fragrance of her perfume. He had a single glimpse of her, on the worst day of his life. But the preceding day that he spent with her was ironically blissful, both a beautiful and painful memory in his mind.
"Don't listen to everything Cyrus says, Glenn." Rhiannon forcefully said. "I know it's supposed to be wrong for a lady to fight, but he shouldn't have put the responsibility of talking me out of it on you. I'm his sister. He needs to talk to me himself."
"You're right..." Glenn answered, pulling his bare feet out of the stream when a minnow started to nibble at his toes. "I'll talk to him about it when he gets back."
Rhiannon playfully slapped him upside the head. "Can't you stop being the middleman for once in your life? It's good for siblings to talk with each other. To laugh together, cry together, argue together.." she said, looking up at the sky.
"What did you see in last night's dream?" asked Glenn concerned, afraid that her rambling meant that she had predicted something, as it usually did.
"Nothing." Rhiannon quickly said, trying to distract herself by pulling the petals off of a flower.
"No! You know that I never reveal what I see in my dreams! If I can't tell Queen Leene, my parents, or Toma, I can't tell you!" she said, flailing the flower around as she waved her arms in the air.
"Is it... bad?"
"Will you just shut up?" Rhiannon answered, clearly angry at Glenn. "Why did you even have to ask? You know that I don't even want the dreams, let alone share them" A tear slid down her cheek.
"Well, you were the one who brought it up, with all your muttering about how you and Cyrus should-"
"Stop! Just stop!" Rhiannon cried.
Glenn stood there, staring at Rhiannon for a moment. "I'm... sorry. I shouldn't have made such a big deal out of it. I'll..."
"No! How could I have been so blind? Why did I-"
"...just pretend that you don't have those dreams at all. Will that be better?"
"No! Why didn't I make her tell me what she saw?! I would have been able to prevent..."
"Yes, thank you. It doesn't matter if I tell you or not. What will be will be, and there is no preventing it."
"Glenn, let's just forget it, and enjoy the moment. Cyrus is going to march us up to Mt. Denodoro tomorrow, so we might as well have a good time here." Rhiannon said, tossing the abused daisy aside.
"Did he say why we were going to Denodoro? That's a good day's march."
"Oh, no! Poor Glenn can't march any further, or his feet will fall off!" teased Rhiannon. "Actually, he didn't say why he wanted to go to Denodoro, but... never mind."
Glenn didn't respond, not wanting to start another argument with her, although he knew why her voice was trailing off.
Rhiannon rested her head gently on Glenn's shoulder, and they watched the stream flow by, enjoying their time together, eventually dozing in the warm afternoon sun.
Glenn sighed again, for probably the hundredth time since he climbed the mountain. The memories were strong here... something was waiting for him here. The Masamune tingled in his hand, and he dropped it in surprise.
"What? That has never happened before."
"Who's there?" he said. There was no answer except for the wind in the trees and the singing of birds.
"This place is rich in magic. I must remaineth on my guard." he said, before he realized that the only person around to hear him was himself.
Keep going, Glenn. It's only a little further.
"Who's there? Show thyself!" Glenn roared, still receiving no response.
Do you remember this place, Glenn?
The frog looked around at his surroundings. "No! Not this place! Anything but this! I don't want to remember this!" He fell to the ground, clutching his head.
"So... Ozzie... I see we meet again. A pity you can't try to drown us this time." Cyrus said.
Ozzie leaned over the ledge, to get a better look at who he was facing. Flea and Slash stood at his side. "Yeah, well, Flea screwed it up. It's not my fault."
Flea glared at her superior for a moment, then agilely leapt down off the ledge, hair and cape dramatically blowing in the breeze. It soon grew stronger, and she almost lost her balance. "Stop! Stop it! Stupid wind magic." she whined. The magical wind drifted away after ruining Flea's moment.
"I want this one. That interloper squashed my plan to kill King Guardia, then revealed that I was a Mystic. Magus and I are both angry with you, young man." she said to Glenn. "Your interloping days are over." Flea soon began to shoot beams of deadly magic, while Glenn had to play the defensive part of the battle by reflecting them off his sword.
Cyrus looked up at Slash. "I guess that leaves you with me, Sir Slush."
"Me name isn't 'Slush', you idiot." the blue Mystic said. "Until that little pun of yours, I was about to remark on how it was an honor to fight with a 'Hero' such as you."
"Why, thank you. I suppose it would be an honor for me also, except for the fact that you're a deceiving Mystic hellspawn." Cyrus declared.
Slash drew his sword, holding it high. "It will be a pity to have those stupid comments listed as your last words."
They engaged in a one-on-one battle, sparks flying in all directions as the Masamune and Slasher clashed, coming near to slicing off one of the opponents limbs, to be deflected by the opposite weapon just in time. After a moment, it looked as if both Cyrus and Slash had gone into a sort of a bloodthirsty trance, as if they were not doing the fighting, but the weapons themselves.
Meanwhile, Rhiannon had been hiding in the branches of a nearby tree, her bow drawn and ready. She had been told to stay out of the fights between Glenn, Cyrus, Flea, and Slash, but to be ready and waiting in case of any backstabbers that might want to end one of the skirmishes prematurely. She kept a constant eye on Ozzie, and a certain shadow that was behind a large rock, but was most definitely not that of the boulder.
Rhiannon stared at it harder, and noticed something staring back at her. The blue hair, red eyes, the fact that it was Magus hit her harder that a sack of rocks. It was all that she could do to keep from gasping and attracting Ozzie's attention.
And she could tell that he could see her also. She searched the depths of her mind, trying to recall her dream that she had experienced a few nights ago. After a moment, she was aware of his grasping a dark orb of magic. Rhiannon kept her arrow aimed at Magus, as he held his magic ever ready.
"Why must I remember this? Why can these damned memories not taketh their leave of me?" Glenn gasped for breath that was choked by sobs from tears that could not spring from his amphibious eyes, as he laid sprawled out on the grass, the Masamune flung a few feet away from him in a fit of rage. "Why..."
"...aren't you dead yet?" Flea demanded of Glenn, as he clutched his head in pain, his sword laying on the ground, out of reach. "No matter." the sorceress said. "I can fix that quite easily. But first, I'll have a little fun with you. With the right spell, I can turn you against your friend. Then, one of us shall dispose of you." She raised her arms in the air, summoning a large whirlwind. It lifted Glenn on his feet, ready for Flea's magic to make him into her zombie. Suddenly, the wind died, and both Flea and Ozzie groaned in aggravation.
"What happened, Flea?"
"My magic! Quick, throw me an ether!" Flea yelled at Ozzie.
"I don't have one! I told you to pack the potions." the Mystic general bellowed back.
"Curses!" the witch exclaimed. "Oh, well. You're weakened by my spells. I can still take you out with physical strength."
Glenn looked up. "Yes, Flea, you can. But you won't." He suddenly charged her. She was caught off guard, so she had no time to leap out of the way, and his armored body was too heavy for her to block. Flea went flying into the large wall of rock, her head smashing against to stone with a thud. She slid to the ground in an unconscious heap.
With that, Glenn picked up his sword and was about to leap into the fray, but was stopped by Cyrus. "This is our battle, Glenn. Stay out of it."
So Glenn and Ozzie simply stood about watching the battle between Slash and Cyrus, which was getting close to nowhere, while Rhiannon and Magus continued to watch each other, neither moving. It eventually got to be so dull, that Ozzie turned to Glenn. "Hey, you didn't happen to bring any cards, did you, kid?" When Glenn stared, Ozzie quickly sniffed. "Not that I'd ever play cards with a human like you."
After about half an hour, a sudden cry broke the relative stillness. "What the hell is going on here?!" Everyone was so startled, that they all turned to face Flea, even Magus and Rhiannon.
Flea started to walk around. "Who's sick idea of a joke was it to put me in a dress?" she demanded.
Ozzie stared puzzledly from his ledge. "Umm... you put that dress on yourself."
"I most certainly did not! What self-respecting guy puts a dress on himself?!"
"Flea, you're not a guy." Slash corrected her as he ducked a blow from Cyrus.
Flea simply sat down with a confused look on her face. "I am too a guy!" she said stubbornly.
Soon, the tides seemed to be turning in the sword fight. Slash was slowly starting to tire. He did not seem to attack with the same enthusiasm or effort as he had been early in the duel. Ozzie was starting to bite his claws in anxiety.
"Where'd these come from?" Flea wondered aloud as she started to look over her body. One moment later, she rolled away, crashing into Glenn with a shriek, as the Slasher flew from its owner's hand and was presently quivering slightly as it stuck up it the ground right where Flea had been a moment earlier.
Slash, seeing that he was weaponless and the loser of the battle, knelt down in front of Cyrus, exposing his bare neck. "I surrender. You have defeated me, knight. Do what is necessary."
"You put up a good fight, Sir Slash. If you had won, there would be no other opponent from whose hand I'd rather die by." Cyrus solemnly said. He raised the Masamune high above his head, ready to bring it crashing down to neatly slice off the Mystic's head.
At that moment, three things happened at once. From behind his hiding place, Magus hurled his dark magic towards Cyrus. In the same split second, Rhiannon leapt out of hiding, directly in front of Cyrus and bowling Slash over. She simultaneously released her arrow, straight at Magus. It missed it's mark, hitting a small pebble that had been holding a larger rock in place, which had been doing the same for several even larger stones, and so on, and as the rocks tumbled down, the black hole came ever closer...
"Noooooooooooooooooooo! Leave me! Leave me now!" Glenn roared. This entire time, he had been slowly working his way up to the cave at the peak of Mt. Denodoro, and now in a burst of anger towards his memories, Magus, Slash, Flea, Rhiannon, Cyrus, Ozzie, and himself, he forcefully brought the Masamune down upon the natural alter. With a burst of blinding light, it shattered into two pieces, and he collapsed on the floor.
"You were right to bring the Masamune back to this place, Glenn." said Masa, who had seemingly appeared out of nowhere.
"Although you could have brought it back in better condition." Mune sniffed.
"I knew that I had to return it. I tried to passeth it on to the lad Tata, and also to Rune, the daughter of Marco and Fiona. But none of the could wieldeth it. So it brought it back where it belongs." Glenn stuttered. He felt that he could move no muscles in his body save his mouth. It was difficult even to think.
"Don't worry. This was supposed to happen. Many years from now, new heroes will stumble upon it, reforge it, and they will use it for its purposes."
"Is that why those cursed memories plagued me? So I would destroy the Masamune? That's a horrible way for thee to fulfill destiny, to injure me in that manner... I'm just so tired..."
"Then sleep, Glenn."
And the warrior slowly closed his eyes, and his breathing slowed, and his heartbeat calmed to the point which he could no longer feel it. All his senses could detect was a great peace.
Come on, Glenn. Let's go home.
Well, congratulations! You finished the story, so now you might as well listen to what I have to say.
This has actually been a sneak preview of a larger story that I'll never get around to writing. It's called [I don't have this part of the title figured out yet]: The Story of Sir Cyrus, a semi-sequel Fall From Grace, which I'm never going to finish, so I'll probably definitely never write Cyrus. Oh, well.
I want to thank both Madonna and Dave Matthews Band, because it was listening to their CD's while writing this that kept me from going insane.
Again, I like feedback and reviews, so gimme all you've got.
Well, that's all the afterword you're going to get today!