The Aftermath Of Mount Woe Chapter 33
Breakthrough On The Morning After
Schala awoke slowly, staring straight up through bleary eyes. She could see daylight through some of the semi-patched holes in the roof. Sun was streaming in from one hole she didn't remember seeing before. The room was actually fairly bright. She stretched out where she was, savoring the new feeling of sheets against bare skin. Muscles she never knew she had ached from their prolonged use. She wished she had time for a bath, but she didn't think that was an option.
Turning on her side, she saw Greven was wide awake. He must have been watching her sleep. He smiled at her gently, but as she lightly touched on his public telepathic channels, she discovered he was under a considerable amount of stress. "Your stress levels are off the scale." She said, observing that her voice seemed to have an unusual quality. "Don't tell me you're feeling guilty already."
"How can I not? I-"
"Please, don't say what I think you're about to."
"I deflowered a virgin. That's something I've never done before, I think..."
"That is such a stupid phrase!" She said, a little angry now. "I'm not some petite flower that needed protecting! I wanted, you gave! Pure and simple!"
Greven sighed. "I was definitely not used to being in the submissive role. What brought that on anyway?" He got up, picked up his clothes from where they had fallen on the floor, and started to get dressed.
"We're in love, and the situation was right." He still seemed unhappy. "You didn't hurt me, you know."
"What do you mean?" He asked, although he had a good idea.
"Everyone who's responsibilty it was to talk to me about this, said that the first time would be painful. There was no avoiding it. But it wasn't."
"Guess all the practice pays off." He smiled to himself, falling back on an Earthbound phrase.
"Hmm. Yes." Schala got out of bed and began to get dressed herself. "So how was I?" She couldn't help asking.
Greven slipped on his tank top and opened the door to go eat breakfast. "There must be something special about magic-using women." Then he left. Schala smiled, until she realized he hadn't really answered her at all.
Schala and Greven were both eating breakfast at a table a little bit away from the main dining area, when there was a bright flash, and Ertai was back. "Yea-ah!!" He shouted, stretching the word into two syllables. "Algetty rules! Dad's a jerk, but mom is cool, and so is everyone else!"
"Glad you had a good time." Greven commented, not taking his eyes off Schala.
"Yeah. The third born, Vhati, showed me around. Selisha even stopped to talk to me for a few minutes. She must have remembered your descriptions of me. And man, she is HOT! Er, no offense Schala."
"None taken." She said absent mindedly, still looking at Greven.
"Heeeey. What's going on here?" He asked, eyeing them suspiciously.
"Nothing." They said in unison, smiling at each other.
"Well, I guess-" Ertai was interrupted as a telepathic message screamed into his mind. Schala winced too.
'Princess Schala! Please come to the Zeal Palace immediately!!'
"That sounded like Gaspar!" Schala exclaimed, actually paying attention.
"And he said "please," so it couldn't be Dalton trying to fool you." Ertai pointed out.
"Guess I'd better go." She started to run for the door, before she realized she was still only wearing her tank top and tight pants. "Maybe I'd better change first." She grimaced.
"You'll be fine." Greven assured her. Ertai expected Schala to contradict him, but instead she just smiled and teleported away. What was going on between those two?
Schala arrived at the main entrance to the palace, and, spying nothing unusual, proceeded to the throne room. The chamber immediately outside was nearly filled with guards, and apparently for good reason, as they were barring Dalton from going inside. "This is an outrage! You say I'm not allowed in? On whose orders?"
"On all three of the gurus'." A guard answered nervously, pushing him back.
"And mine too!" Schala added, seeing Dalton about to argue the point.
"Ah, Miss Schala! We've been expecting you. Go on in please." Dalton's face turned red with rage, but he stormed off. Schala shivered as always as she stepped up to the crest of the Mammon Machine, but she soon forgot about that as she saw the scene inside.
She jumped as the door closed behind her, but paid little attention. The three gurus were gathered around the throne, where Zeal sat. Schala thought her eyes were playing tricks on her, because she saw two Zeals. One solid, sitting almost stone still on the throne. A second was transparent, fidgeting in pain, but also sitting on the throne. "Schala..." The transparent queen called weakly, seeing her daughter. "You have to help me..."
"What's going on here?!" Schala demanded of the gurus.
"Schala, we've been doing a lot of research on Lavos lately." Melchior started.
"He's taken control of me." The ghost like Zeal said in a strained voice.
"We finally managed to isolate the specific wavelength it uses to control human thought." Belthasar continued.
"And now we've made a breakthrough. We've managed to block that wavelength from your mother's psyche." Gaspar smiled thinly. "But we don't know how long it will last, and as you can see, the effect wasn't what we would have liked."
"Let me talk to her..." Zeal stretched her hand out.
"Come gentlemen, let's egress." Belthasar gestured, trying to lighten the mood. The three gurus left the throne room.
"Schala, I have to apologize." Zeal started.
"Mother, is it Lavos that's been acting like such a jerk lately? Not you?"
"Like I said, he's taken control of me. I'm powerless against this kind of mind control. No, not that even. I can still think, I just can't act on my own will. Its more like he's taken control of my soul."
"So you've heard all that attitude I've been giving you lately? I'm sorry."
"I deserve it." Zeal shook her head. "I deserve a lot worse. Especially for how I've allowed that Dalton weasel to gain power." She remained silent for a moment. "You have to kill Lavos."
"What?" Schala couldn't believe the words that sounded like music to her ears.
"Land the continent. Then kill him. He's too dangerous. You know all the hell he's been causing lately? Well he's still asleep! He can never be allowed to wake up, never!" Zeal almost collapsed, then she drew a ragged breath. "If you can't, land the continent anyway. Disconnect us from his power. If I'm still in his control, kill me!" Schala gasped. "Maybe its hard to hear, but its necessary. You'll be a better ruler than I ever was. Vigo's blood flows strongly in your veins. I'm proud of you..."
"We're working on the Lavos problem already." Schala ignored her mother's last few sentences. She could not imagine killing her own mother.
"Who's we?" Zeal asked. "Oh, you must mean that Greven Vecar boy." Then she looked at Schala quizzically, like her old self. Schala smiled a little. "Where are the rest of your clothes?" And then Schala gulped. "So, you and Greven are an item?"
"You could say that." Schala admitted.
"Do you love him?" Schala felt odd having this conversation.
"Yes. I'm sure of it."
"That's great. My daughter's in love with a wanted criminal!" Zeal laughed. "Ah, its good that you found someone to support you though. These are difficult times." Then she looked up, totally serious, with pained eyes. "Be very careful Schala. When this wears off, I'm probably going to try to kill him. And maybe even you..."
"Lavos is that brutal?"
"Yes. He's willing to do just about anything, from what I've experienced." Suddenly, the transparent Zeal began flashing, and the solid one on the throne began to stir. "Its... starting! He's... coming... for me! Kill Lavos... Schala! Kill Lavos!!" The gurus rushed back into the room at her voice.
"Lavos is forcing his way back in!" Gaspar shouted. "He's modified his wavelength!"
"So block it again!" Schala shouted, tears welling up in her eyes.
"We can't. Not without more research." Melchior said grimly. On the throne, the transparent queen was fighting with all her might to stay free, to no avail. The glowing soul was finally absorbed back into the body with one soul rending shriek. Now there was just one Zeal again, and she slowly opened her eyes.
"What are you all staring at?" She demanded of them. "Can't I nod off for a bit without you all gathering around?"
"Mother, do you remember anything that just happened?" Schala asked with faint hope.
"Well, I... No, it was just an odd dream." She looked around. "Where's Dalton?" They all shrugged. "Well send for him! You're all dismissed." They all left the room, disheartened, while Dalton, who couldn't have gone more than twenty feet away, ran inside.
"I'm sorry Schala. It looks like we failed." Melchior apologized.
"Not completely." She said through gritted teeth. "Now I know my mother is still in there, somewhere. Trapped inside the ugliness of Lavos. I swear, I'll free her if its the last thing I do." The gurus nodded in approval. Then she thought, 'Your days are numbered Lavos. If I have to kill you myself, your days are numbered.'
"I won't let you touch my mom!!!"
"Augh!... Augh! I know. I can see her. She needs my help badly. Augh... Mother!!!!!!!!" - Tenchi Masaki
Nanaki: No, there was no quote last chapter. I felt it would ruin the moment. And anyway, there's really nothing in any Square game that has to do with that type of content. Yes, I know this chapter's quotes aren't from a Square game! They're from "Tenchi Muyo In Love," the best anime I've ever seen, with the possible exception of "Akira." If you don't see it, you might as well lapse into a coma, you're not missing anything (except SaGa Frontier, but now I'm just babbling)...
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