Tempo Trigger Chapter 42

Ertai's Training: Wearing the Guantlet

By Nanaki

1826 A.D.

Ertai wearily got out of bed. He really wanted to go back to sleep, but he had developed his "internal clock," as Billy called it, so much that he knew he wouldn't be able to. He slipped on his black and green combat suit, reflecting that it really needed to be washed as he did so. He stepped in front of his mirror, and observed his messed up hair. He ran his hand through it until it was messed up in the fashion he preferred. He walked out of his room and grabbed the hunk of bread that was waiting by his door, biting into it without interest.

His heart rate barely changed as he detected Billy dropping at him from the ceiling. He teleported above and behind his master, then kicked him through the wall and into the battle arena as he continued to munch on his bread. As he polished it off, he broke into a sprint, and arrived at Billy's location in time to knee him in the neck as he was getting up. Billy crashed into the outer wall, leaving a Billy shaped dent in it as he slid back to the floor. From the floor, Billy did several midair somersaults, landing in an offensive crouch. He quickly pulled out his guns, and proceeded to launch into his Nutcracker attack. Ertai caught each of the bullets easily, then tossed them over his shoulder.

Ertai hovered up into the air, then quickly flew backwards as twenty huge bolts of lightning crashed into the arena from above, converging on Billy. He shielded his eyes as the Lightning Four spell detonated, and quickly looked back. As he had expected, Billy was flying at him out of the blast, glowing with Soultech energy. He unleashed a Ten Thousand Point Strike, his fists moving so fast that the blurs became exponential. Ertai fluidly blocked every blow, not showing any signs of strain. As the green glow faded and Billy landed, Ertai hit him with a roundhouse kick to the head that sent him back to the floor. Billy rolled over incredibly fast, his hands flaring with two large chi blasts. Ertai was long gone.

As Billy stood up, he sensed Ertai coming at him from behind, and quickly lashed out with his elbow. He was pleased to feel it connect with ribs. As the rest of him turned around, he saw Ertai rocketing away from him in a series of successfully faster backflips. As Ertai reached the far wall, he bounced off, and flew through the air toward Billy. As he was flying, he realized that even though he had pulled that move off as fast as he could, Billy would still have plenty of time to defend. He teleported directly behind Billy, telekinetically doing a 180 while he was at it. He slammed into Billy's back, then slammed both of them through the outer wall, to the dusty outside.

Billy kneeled on the ground, coughing. Ertai quickly kicked him up into the air, then let flow with some chi blasts of his own. A tremendous midair explosion resulted, and Billy was hurled out of it, trailing smoke as his form plummeted to the ground. This time, Ertai waited for him to get up. Billy shook himself off, then launched himself at Ertai, and into the incredible series of kicks known as Goten. Ertai took the full force of the beating, until Billy got ready to plant the final kick. Ertai blocked it with both arms, grabbed onto Billy's leg, and spun him into the ground. Finally, Ertai was fully awake, and he allowed himself a smile. "Nice try." He said smugly as Billy was getting up. Then, his smile vanished as he cried out, "Goten X!!"

Ertai spun around in midair even as he hurled himself at Billy. He was moving around so fast, in so many different directions, that he wasn't quite sure which way was up. Billy was being snapped around like a rag doll, but Ertai had a sneaking suspicion anyway. As he moved to plant his own final kick, Billy moved to block, as he had anticipated. Before his leg had even stopped moving forward, his sword launcher materialized in his hands, and he had it aimed at Billy's chest. "Say goodbye." He said without any trace of emotion, then pulled the launching rod. The blade passed through Billy's body, but the hilt didn't, and it lifted him into the air, carrying him back to the wall, where the blade imbedded in the building. Billy was pinned like an insect, his blood spurting into the air.

Wearing a grimace so intense, it threatened to shatter his teeth, Billy stretched his hands into the air. From apparently out of nowhere, a soft, white light fell on him, and the sword instantly dislodged itself. Billy fell to the ground, and landed in a kneeling position, his wounds slowly closing up. Ertai calmly walked up to him. "If you're going to surprise attack me, you shouldn't be so lazy about it." Then, as an afterthought, he added, "You might try actually surprising me too."

Billy inhaled deeply, then looked up at him. "I wasn't being lazy. Don't you realize what just happened?"

"You didn't try hard enough." Ertai said, a puzzled expression appearing on his face.

"Well, that's true enough." Billy chuckled a little. "But I was fighting as well as I could."

"No way!" Ertai protested.

"I'm afraid so." Billy nodded, still smiling. "I gave it everything I had, and you still beat the crap out of me."

"Then that means..." Ertai trailed off, because he really had no clear idea of what that meant.

"That means, your time training here is at an end." Billy finally stood up, and smiled. "When you first came here, I told you that a lot of the people Leng sends don't have a maximum. It's my guess that you're one of those people. As long as you continue to fight, you should constantly become stronger."

"So, I should head back to Leng's now?" Ertai asked, incredulous. He hadn't been expecting this at all.

Billy smiled in a conspiratorial manner. "Actually, I believe you would be of much greater assistance if you spent some time in 8,000 B.C. before you returned to Leng's fortress."

Ertai gave him an accusing look. "And what purpose would there be in me going to 8,000 B.C.?"

"Oh, I think you'll see that immediately upon arriving." Billy smiled, but thinly now, Ertai noticed. "Get yourself a pure black combat suit, all the equipment you can handle, and get going through the third gate on the right in the basement. It'll take you exactly where you need to go."

Ertai hadn't let up with the odd look. "This is another test, isn't it?"

Billy's smile vanished. "I wish it was. Trust me, we really need you to do this. You'll see what you need to do right away. Now get going."

"Yes sir!" Ertai saluted, then ran back through the hole in the wall he had punched not five minutes prior.

Billy waited until the sound of Ertai's footsteps could no longer be heard, then he pulled out a small note. He couldn't read it, it was flapping in the wind so much, but he didn't need to. He already knew what it said:

"Seraphina is dead. You know as well as I that this timeline cannot be allowed to exist. In addition to creating the largest paradox this planet has ever seen, it will allow the Lavoid to accomplish all his objectives, which makes a paradox seem like a walk in the park. Reverse this situation. NOW. - Leng"


"People say 'die,' but I am not so weak as to want to die." - Tim Rhymeless, Wild ARMs 2


Chapter 43

Chrono Trigger Fanfic