The Aftermath Of Mount Woe Chapter 42
"This is a very serious offense Melchior." Zeal said, holding the dagger by the tip of the hilt.
"How is this an offense? I was just doing my job." He asked defiantly.
"I hardly think that stealing this dagger and imbuing it with more power is in your job description."
"I didn't steal it. It was given to me, and adding power was in the work order." He said calmly, but angrily.
"Who gave it to you?" She asked, venom in her voice. Melchior sensed that there was no getting out of this one.
"Prince Janus." He said, volunteering no further information.
"You dare to lie in a situation like this? I don't believe this! How such a traitor could have slipped through Vigo's judgement is beyond me."
"You're the traitor here!" Melchior shouted, sensing that he was in a lot of trouble no matter what. He might as well speak his mind. "You killed the rightful ruler of the kingdom and are under Lavos' control!" He expected her to erupt into a rage, but she just stared calmly.
"You're going to regret saying that." Her face remained emotionless. "Melchior, you've been working awfully hard lately. How would you like to take a little vacation?"
"Sounds fine." He said, equally emotionless.
"I've been meaning to check up on our old friend Shivan. How would you like to go on a little excursion to Mount Woe?"
"Fine with me. At least Lavos has no control over him."
'That's what you think.' Zeal thought, but said nothing.
"Come in." Schala said wearily, hearing the knock on her door. "Melchior?" She asked in surprise. "What do you want?"
"Only to say goodbye." He said sadly.
"What? Where are you going?"
"I've been deported. Zeal's sending me to Mount Woe."
"For trying to help you, and Janus." He shook his head sadly.
"It figures." She said dejectedly, then became quiet. She realized Melchior was giving her an odd look. "What?"
He smiled, and almost laughed. "I was just thinking that we need Vigo to get us out of this situation. But that's not true. We just need you."
"What can I do?" She was surprised.
"To be precise, we need you the way you used to be."
"Good luck finding her." Schala threw herself down on the bed. Melchior smiled sadly again.
"You may think you're finished, Schala of Enhasa, but you'll triumph in the end. Something will get through to the real you. I know it." He turned to leave, then turned back. "Would you care to show me the way through Algetty?"
"Sure." She slowly stood back up.
Melchior stood at the base of the mountain, holding the dagger. For some reason, Zeal had insisted that he take it with him. He looked up through the dark, swirling mists, wondering what he should do. He knew that Zeal had sent him up here to get rid of him, hoping that he wouldn't come back. He certainly wasn't going to actively seek out Shivan, or whatever the hell the former Weapon was now. He would have to find somewhere to hide for a while. Maybe there were still some Nus living here. They were just about everywhere else. He started walking up the mountain, ghosts of the past taunting him at every turn.
He hadn't gone too far when he suddenly stopped. 'Whoah. There is some very odd energy amassed here.' He thought, probing the magical field. 'The actual magical kinetics aren't anything special, but the magical field potential-' He stopped as something raced past his head in the air. He ducked down, but saw nothing in the mist. 'Weird...' Then he went back to his musings. 'What's so special about this?... Of course! This is massive amounts of lifestream energy! The planet's own energy is what's holding this place up, but it's not being processed through a machine this time. It's raw and pure... ..and this much raw energy can't be good.'
Suddenly, Melchior heard a low growl behind him. Turning around, he saw a rotund monster, holding a large club. It had yellow skin, and sort of looked like a mutated frog. "Food?" It demanded. Melchior was taken aback.
"I don't have anything on me." He said, very surprised.
"Then you no good!" The monster shouted. It charged forward, striking Melchior right in the stomach with the club.
"Ugh..." Melchior coughed, while the monster raised its club again. "Masa, Mune, I need your help here!"
"Sure thing old man!" Masa's cheerful voice returned. Melchior let go of the dagger, and it hovered in midair, then began spinning. The monster watched with interest, until the dagger darted forward and imbedded itself in his stomach. It cried out, and Melchior heard a flapping of wings. Several birds flew forward, each dropping an impish creature, before flying away. The imps all ran forward, wearing none too friendly expressions on their faces. "Maybe we better fight in person." Masa's voice came again.
"Okay..." Mune reluctantly agreed. There was a white flash, then Masa and Mune stood in front of Melchior, guarding him. Masa grabbed the dagger, which was still hovering in midair.
"It's go time!" He shouted with glee, then charged toward the imps. Mune began concentrating on some magic. As Masa slaughtered the imps with relative ease, Melchior viewed the scene with interest. These were no ordinary monsters. They were primitive, yes, but they appeared to be sentient. Perhaps the severe amount of spirit energy around the mountain had mutated the native inhabitants. The noise of the fight attracted more of the creatures, and they had a wide variety of appearances. Mune unleashed a wide ranging lightning spell that devastated their ranks, but they just kept coming. Finally, Masa couldn't fight without turning his back to another enemy. He ran back toward Mune, slashing mercilessly.
"Got anything that'll really clear them out?" Mune just stared at the swirling mist.
"Actually, maybe I do..." The mist began swirling more and more quickly. A gale suddenly descended on the slope, and Melchior and Masa had to duck down to avoid being blown off. The creatures weren't so lucky.
"What was that?" Masa asked, smiling.
"The power of the wind. I've been working on it, though I'm far from mastering it."
"Looks like you will someday though. Maybe you're not as much of a wuss as I thought, Mune."
"Thanks, I think." Then, they all shut up as a roaring sound was heard. A gigantic stone hand shot out of the ground, clawing at the dirt.
"You know what this means?" Masa asked, a strange look on his face.
"It means we've gotta get out of here!" Melchior shouted.
"I'm way ahead of you old man!" Mune shot up the slope.
Masa stayed right where he was. Soon, the head and torso of Giga Gaia also emerged from the rocks. "What are looking at, Mr. Ex-Weapon?" He demanded. The Gaia looked at him for a second, then roared. A fire spell launched from each hand, missing Masa by inches. "I see." Then he fled up the mountain, quickly catching up to the others. "Move!!"
The three ran up the mountain as fast as they could, before Melchior calmed down. "Hold on. I'm going to have a coronary if we keep this up." He said, breathing heavily. He closed his eyes, and quickly teleported them to the top. Memories came flooding back as the white glow faded. The top was actually the crater where the Weapons had come close to blowing the mountain apart. Melchior began to step forward, when Giga Gaia landed in front of him, shaking the mountain considerably. Nevertheless, when Melchior got his first good look at the monster, he had to laugh. "What happened to you?" He demanded. "Didn't you used to be a few hundred feet taller?" Indeed, the Gaia had shrunk to less than one hundred feet tall. Apparently, he acted as the catalyst for all the spirit energy around here, and it was slowly sucking the spirit energy out of him. "Maybe you'll shrink to nothing in another nine years." There was a lesser roaring sound behind them.
Whirling around, the three saw that the horde of monsters was advancing rapidly. "This doesn't look good." Masa grimaced.
"You two get out of here." Melchior said darkly.
"What? Are you crazy? They'll slaughter you!" Mune protested.
"Just do it! Someone has to keep an eye on the situation in the Zeal Palace." Melchior grabbed the dagger back from Mune, then pushed him away. "Don't worry about me! I've got something in mind. Now go!"
"Okay..." Mune said reluctantly. He and Mune disappeared.
"Now, let's see if I can't do something useful with all the power around here." Melchior thought out loud. The encroaching horde of creatures was almost upon him, and Giga Gaia raised his foot to step on the guru. Then, an odd blue shield surrounded Melchior. "I'm not ready to kick the bucket yet!" He shouted at the Gaia. "Only two things can finish me! Lavos or old age!" Then, the shield began to fill in. He would remain in suspended animation until someone came to let him out. 'The dagger is ready for you to take it Schala.' He thought, a little forlorn. 'When you come here to claim it, I'll be very glad to see you...' Then, the blue shield became opaque, and he fell asleep.
Giga Gaia and the creatures that would become known as mystics hammered on it for nearly an hour, to no avail. The spirit energy Melchior had gathered was simply too strong. They eventually got bored with it, and almost forgot that it was there.
"The past is a ghost that haunts you, from the moment it exists, until the moment you don't." - Crovax
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