Tempo Trigger Chapter 5

Onward To Merido

By Nanaki

975 A.D.

"What do you mean "it's not there?" Raganorn demanded as Leopold wearily stood up. "It's been destroyed?"

"No. There's no rubble or anything." Tempo sighed. "It's just disappeared. And so has everyone inside."

"So that's what he meant..." Raganorn kicked the ground. "I don't know if he'll hurt them or not, but he's taken them away from us. I wonder why he didn't drag you three along too though..."

"Probably all the magical shielding on the cave sir." Leopold coughed.

"That partially explains it, but then why was he able to teleport away?"

"The stone allowed him to?"

"That's probably also correct Leopold, but then why did the shielding still protect us?" He shook his head. "I don't know about any of that. But I do know that I'm going after that bastard right now!"

"We're coming too!" Tempo shouted enthusiastically.

"I don't think so." Raganorn frowned. "You could be of some help, yes, but I'd have to spend too much time protecting you. Leopold needs a little time to recover anyway."

"So what are we supposed to do?" Tempo demanded.

Raganorn thought for a minute. "You can go after Barada. We had strong evidence that he has a seperate fortress to the south, past Merido. You three go to Merido and see what you can find out. I'll be heading to Kamaka, because from what I've seen so far, Moogoo's hideout can't be too far east of there." He took a step forward, then turned around. "By the way, one other Soul Knight was out on assignment when Moogoo showed up. He may have been unaffected by that spell. Keep an eye out for Sir Kazin, Leopold."

"Will do sir." Leopold nodded weakly. With that, Raganorn floated up into the air, and was far away in just a few seconds.

"You really think we can take down Barada?" Tempo asked Leopold.

"I'm sure of it, with a little more training. And I hate to say it, but you're going to have to do most of the work, unless Kazin shows up. This wrist is going to keep me down for a while." Leopold sighed heavily. "Also, I don't know how long these little power stones will last. They were magically connected to the main stone, but now that Moogoo has it, I severely doubt that they still are. They probably won't last long at all."

"We'll have to save them for emergencies then." Tempo frowned. "Is there any other way I could get more power in a relatively short amount of time?"

Leopold though for a minute. "Sure, although I don't know if it really exists. Local lore says that there's an ancient artifact called the Soul Ring that greatly amplifies soul power, located not too far south of Merido."

"Hmm... Both tasks point to south of Merido. Let's get going then."

"All right. There's really nothing we can take with us." Leopold grimaced. "I should still be able to walk okay. Let's go." The three set out south, past the hill where the mine had been, and the odd sandy area around it. Tempo was worried a little about Viashino attacks, but nothing happened in the open. They passed into a forest later in the day, and occasionally had to fend off some disturbingly large insects, but that wasn't too much trouble either. Finally, when the sun was lowering in the western sky, they emerged from the trees, and spotted Merido across a wide plain. There was a mountain range running north and south to the east, and another range running northwest to the south of them. "Well, I think we made pretty good time." Leopold smiled. "Let's get over there and take a rest. I still have a headache from Moogoo's treatment anyway."

Leopold had taken one step forward when the ground began to shake. He immediately took the step back as giant beams of blue light shot out of the sky. They left deep gouges in the ground, which quickly widened as the ground continued its tremor. Suddenly, the ground on the opposite side shot up about fifty feet from where they were standing, then the shaking stopped. Peering over the side, Tempo saw it was a very long drop to the bottom. They were effectively stranded on this side. The rift ran straight north on their left, and more gradually northwest on their right. "So much for that." Tempo groaned.

"Don't bet on it." Schala said quietly. She reached into her robes and held up the pendant. Her hope faded quickly as she saw that it was dull and lifeless. Testing the magic inside, she found that its outer appearance was correct. "Forget that. It's empty."

"All right. Let's look for a way across." Leopold encouraged them. He began walking along the northwest rift. Tempo thought there was very little chance that he would find anything, but was proven wrong in less than five minutes. "See?" Leopold pointed ahead. "There's a natural stone bridge just ahead."

Tempo squinted, and found that he was right. "That is so obviously a trap." He frowned.

"And there is so obviously no other way around." Leopold continued on toward the round stone arch, keeping a lookout for any sudden surprises. He stepped onto the bridge very carefully, but still nothing happened. "Come on then. We may be all right." Schala and Tempo warily followed him up. They were in the very middle of the bridge when a large shape rocketed out of the sky, landing hard, and making cracks in the bridge. "Barada!" Leopold shouted.

"It's so nice to be recognized." The big lizard pretended to grin sappily. "Lord Moogoo thought he took care of you all, but it looks like I'll have to clean up after him, as always."

"And I thought I took care of you!" Leopold grimaced. "Looks like I'll have to take you down again."

"I don't think so." Barada grinned for real this time. "Moogoo and I analyzed your attacks. I know you can't do a Diamond Fist with your left hand, and if you try a Flame On with only one sai, the flame energy won't fully transfer, and it'll hit you too."

"What a load of B.S." Tempo stepped forward. "And even if it's true, you still have to deal with me and Schala!"

"Another time kid, if you survive, that is." Barada shook his finger at him, then suddenly jumped in the air, drawing a new sword. "Spearhead Charge!" Tempo jumped back, but Barada aimed his sword straight down. The devastatingly fast attack split the bridge in two, and it began to crumble. Barada jumped back into the air, and vanished from sight. Leopold, Tempo, and Schala jumped over the gap as it began to spread, and quickly ran to the other side of the rift.

"He'll have to try a little harder than that." Leopold grinned, breathing hard.

"Um..." Schala looked behind her. "That crumble isn't stopping."

"Huh?" Glancing back, Leopold saw the edge of the cliff the bridge had been attached to was also falling into the rift. Cracks spread along the ground, and more and more broke off and fell into the chasm. "Huh... Well, I would suggest that we run." He said calmly, then began to sprint all out toward Merido. Tempo and Schala quickly followed suit. As if it could sense this, the encroaching chasm sped up, the cracks in the ground racing out toward them. Of course, the rift had been gradually filling up with all the earth pouring into it, but they still had about a twenty foot fall when the edge caught up. They all blacked out on impact.


"Sheesh. You people with blood take so long to recover." Schala frowned as she shook Tempo gently, trying to wake him up. He wearily opened his eyes.

"I survived?" He asked, not quite believing it given the way he felt.

"Yes, but Merido's toast." Schala looked over at the pile of rubble that had been a town. There were a few dazed people moving around, setting up tents. He wearily sat up, rubbing the back of his head. Schala moved over to Leopold, shaking him. "And you too. Come on. I want to go get that stupid lizard!"

"Ugh..." Leopold slowly woke up. With his left hand, he slowly reached over and pulled on his right arm. "You know how my wrist was broken?" She nodded. "It's attached to a broken arm now."

"Maybe you should stop in what's left of Merido." Tempo advised him.

"I don't want to, but maybe you're right." Leopold sighed. "I'll scout the countryside for Kazin while you two look for that ring. But come back before you go after Barada, all right?"

"We'll keep a lookout for Kazin too." Tempo nodded.

"Sounds like a plan." Leopold sighed. "All right, let's go."


"Unless you make it to the top you're only gonna get used, so you're better off dead!" - Gafgarion


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