Magus charged around yet another corner, and froze. The shell was already there. This was nowhere close to where he had estimated Levasos would rise to the surface. He hadn't felt or heard anything that indicated the shell had surfaced at all. But he quickly forgot about that as he realized the Lavoid was already there, standing in front of the eye pod, without his armor on. Magus suddenly felt as if a great weight was pressing on his chest and shoulders, but he shook the feeling off, and began walking slowly forward.
Levasos looked just like he had in Leng's video, except that he was standing perfectly still. Inhumanly still, actually. His chest did not move up and down to indicate breathing. Since he had no nose, that stood to reason. His body did not even vibrate slightly with a heartbeat. There were no little twitches or slight movements that a human trying to stand still would have made. Levasos' eyes might have been following Magus's progress down the hall, but he couldn't tell. The eyes had neither pupils nor irises. They were a solid opaque orange, and did not seem to be moving in the slightest either.
Magus felt uneasy. He had planned to attack on sight, but now he was curious to know why Levasos wasn't moving. The arms were bent slightly forward, as if ready to swing in a fighting position, but they were still as a statue as well. "Ah, my puppet has arrived at last." The mouth moved. So did the rest of him. He stood up straighter and put his hands on his hips. Magus was somehow reassured by the humanity inherent in those actions. The sound of words being produced by air drawn across vocal cords, even Lavoid vocal cords, somehow made him seem less intimidating. That taken care of, Magus was free to consider his words, and he drew his scythe out from under his cloak in response.
"Puppet? You'd do better to think of me as your executioner." Magus held the scythe forward in a battle ready position.
"Of all the ridiculous things to say!" Levasos wagged a finger at him, not seeming angry or aggressive in the least. "Didn't Leng tell you how powerful I am? Do you actually dream that you're a match for me?"
"I do much more than dream." Magus bared his teeth.
"When I'm finished with you, you will." Levasos nodded.
"What are you getting at?" Magus demanded.
"You belong to me, Janus. Just as the rest of your family belonged to my father. I control your destiny." Levasos explained, almost patiently, it seemed.
"No one controls me!" Magus slammed the butt of his scythe on the ground. "I make my own choices!"
"Yes, you make the choices I have laid out for you." Levasos agreed. "But consider this. How many of the major events in your life have you really had control over? How many important choices have you made where choosing differently wouldn't have resulted in disaster?" Magus remained silent. "That's right, none. You are my puppet."
"Is there a point to your blabbering?" Magus finally demanded.
"Your self styled rebellion against your father is at an end." Levasos said simply.
"My father?!" Magus finally laughed derisively. "Are you trying to tell me that I'm a planeswalker, like Lathain?"
"My dear Janus-kun! I'm insulted that you'd think me so unoriginal." Levasos feigned a look of hurt. "But in a certain sense, your guess is accurate. You are a special project of mine."
"You're insane." Magus declared. "I had two human parents. Even the most powerful magic won't allow for a third."
"Are you so sure?" Levasos raised an eyebrow. Until then, Magus hadn't realized that he had any. Chalk up one more human trait for the "alien". "Your mother killed your father only a few months after you were conceived. Hardly rational behavior, wouldn't you agree?"
"And I killed her." Magus hissed. "I'd say it runs in the family."
"No, but it is a tendency of those infused with the power of a Lavoid. They seek to eliminate others of their kind. To be the sole servant of their master."
"You're full of bullshit." Magus declared. Levasos finally looked a bit angry.
"Careful now. You're being awfully rude, while I've been very patient thus far."
"I didn't ask for any favors from you!" Magus ranted. "I know what you're trying to do with your little mind games. But nothing you say will convince me that I'm not in control of my own fate, and nothing you say will convince me that I can't kill you." Magus panted a bit, before continuing. "And quit acting like an innocent victim!"
"You think I'm not a victim?!" Levasos finally raised his voice. "I watched helplessly as you slaughtered all my brothers and sisters! I even watched helplessly as my father sacrificed himself in battle against you in order to save me!!" To Magus' immense surprise, glowing blue tears began to stream from the Lavoid's eyes. "He was so proud of me, you know. So proud that he'd been able to give life to a Keisegn. He believed I would bring glory to the descendents of Laria!" Now, he glared at Magus. "He was right, but he will not be around to see it!" His face scrunched up, almost like a toddler about to launch into a tantrum, and he screamed at Magus. "Don't you understand? You killed the only being that ever loved me!!" He got control of himself, quietly whimpering as he did so. "I would love to take revenge. But since I have so much invested in you, I cannot."
Now, he dried his tears, glaring at Magus. "However, I can beat you to within an inch of your life before you begin your service to me..." He said in a conspiratorial voice.
Magus had been shocked at the diplay of emotion from what he had perceived as an unfeeling monster, but now they were back on common ground. "Just try." He assumed a battle stance.
Levasos held up his hand, and a weapon materialized in it. Carved out of obsidian, it was basically a broadsword, but a scythe-like protrusion came out of the side Levasos held toward Magus. Though the weapon looked fragile, Magus was willing to bet there was more going on here than met the eye. "I'll do more than try." Levasos said dourly, his voice dropping to an inhuman growl at the end. With that, without any preamble or power up, he flew forward.
Magus' eyes had barely registered the movement, when the Lavoid was right in front of him. Not missing a beat, Magus fluidly caught Levasos' scythe between the blade and upper tip of his, trying to twist his opponent's weapon away, but the Lavoid's grip was too strong. Levasos applied new pressure from the top, and Magus was forced to let his scythe be pushed toward the ground. Levasos twirled around with a high attack, but Magus kept up the momentum Levasos had started, and swung up the other end of his scythe to block. As Levasos' swordscythe clanged off to one side, the Lavoid realized the whole scythe was every bit as tough as the blade was. He'd have to keep that in mind.
Not hesitating at all, Levasos kept his fluid attack going, but Magus, spinning on his heels, was managing to block every swing with either the blade or the butt of his scythe. "Hah! Hah! Hah! Tah! Tooryah!!" After a particularly wide swing, Magus swung around faster than Levasos would have believed he could go, and smacked the Lavoid on the back of the head with the end of his scythe. Magus grinned. "You haven't done much ye-" He felt his lower jaw breaking as Levasos landed a direct punch to the left side of his face, throwing him all the way down the hall, to go crashing through the thick brick wall at the end.
As Magus woozily sat up, it felt as if the Lavoid's punch had gone all the way through his head. As he cast a healing spell on himself, he opened and closed his jaw several times, hearing several loud cracking sounds come from it. He achingly stood up, and marveled at the power of that punch. If Leng hadn't taught him how to use chi to increase the toughness of his flesh and bones, that one hit would have killed him. As Magus walked back out the hole his body had made, dark flames, alternating between purple and black, sprang up around him.
"Do you realize yet how futile your battle is?" Levasos asked as Magus marched steadily toward him. "Any human without a little Lavoid in him would have been killed by that punch. Consider yourself fortunate to be a part of me."
"If I do, will the fight be over?" Magus asked quizzically, with a raised eyebrow.
"Don't be an imbecile." Levasos resumed his fighting stance.
Magus just kept smiling. "Then watch this! Hyaaaaaaaaaaah...!!" As Magus yelled, the flames around him grew steadily higher. His hair began to float up around his head, and his body rose up to hover in the air. Rubble rained down from the ceiling as the whole fortress began to shake, and Magus' form was obscured by the dust.
Then, even as his shout could still be heard from the dust, Levasos found Magus' fist planted in his gut, the wind knocked out of him. "Tisk, tisk. Falling for the oldest trick in the book." Magus wagged a finger at him. Levasos tried to reach out and snap the finger off, only to find that he was too stunned to move. Magus' angry expression returned, along with the flames, and he proceeded to wail away. Levasos could not get his bearings. Every time he thought the world had become right side up again, another hit landed on his face or in his stomach, and he was thrown backward yet again. Finally, Magus brought his scythe around, expecting an easy hit, only to find the swordscythe blocking his swing.
Levasos trembled as he stood, orangish bruises covering his blue skin. Yet, he seemed unconcerned by the beating he had just received. "I do not understand. The mere addition of chi to your repertoire of skills should not have increased your power nearly this much, unless..." The conspiratorial gleam returned to his eye. "The rumors about your heroic background are true." He paused, before adding, "Vegeta!"
Magus just raised a narrow eyebrow in response, but a green flash came from his eyes, and a sharp laugh, coming from a voice even more damaged and battle hardened than Magus', rang throughout Levasos' mind for a second. "No, I haven't been eating my vegetables, not that it's any concern of yours!" Magus gave a derisive laugh, then twirled his scythe out of the stalemate. Levasos' reactions were still not up to speed, and he realized that Magus was doing more than backing away much too late. The scythe slammed into his ribs, cleanly slicing through two before grinding to a halt against the others.
As Levasos screamed out in pain, what he was feeling told him that Magus wasn't wielding any ordinary scythe. "Nightmare rock!" He declared as he jumped back.
"You thought I would fight you with just any old weapon?" Magus laughed scornfully. "That's right, when this scythe cuts off your head, it'll take your soul along with it."
Levasos wanted to laugh out loud at the ignorance Magus was displaying, but the mage's stupidity was a tactical advantage, and he intended to capitalize on it. Besides, with the shape he was in, that would hurt. Levasos shook his head to clear it. He had gotten too used to his opponents being powerless against him. He needed to fight with more skill. Though he normally considered it a waste of time, he now took a moment to heal himself. Feeling refreshed, he charged Magus once more.
Again, Magus fluidly blocked every blow, always managing to push the Lavoid's thrusts to the side. Finally, a glancing blow forced his upper body downward, and Levasos found Magus' heavily booted foot smashing into his face before he could recover his balance. He growled as orange blood began to drip into his mouth from where a gash had been opened under his eyes. Using Magus' pause of smugness to his advantage, Levasos swung his swordscythe towards the mage's head with all his might, not caring that he would surely be able to block. Hopefully, the force of his swing would break the other weapon.
The opposite happened. Levasos stared in open mouthed awe as the broken base of his weapon clunked harmlessly against Magus' armor. Dozens of pieces of obsidian clattered to the ground around them. Levasos stepped back, folding his arms. "Well, it appears you've prepared well for this battle. But, I wonder how you would do, against this weapon..."
Through all of Levasos' infuriatingly inept-yet insanely powerful attacks, his self righteous speeches, and his unexpected reactions, Magus had forced himself to stay calm. Keeping a cool head and considering all your options was the way to win a battle. Levasos was letting his anger fuel his attacks, lending them more power, but making him clumsy. Given the insane power of everything he had felt, Magus was confident that was the reason he was still alive. If he could just stay in a cool and tactical frame of mind, he should be able to win. But what he saw now made his blood boil.
Levasos was holding the Masamune. The instant after it had materialized in the Lavoid's hand, Magus had a foggy vision of Masa and Mune, hovering in front of him. 'Janus, thank God!' Mune said to him, though it was obvious Levasos could not hear. 'You've got to get us away from this guy!'
'He's way too creepy!' Masa agreed frantically. 'Our power can't do anything against him. We can't break free!'
Their forms blurred for a bit, then returned. 'Be very careful Janus.' Mune advised. 'He knows how to use our sword just as well as Glenn, including the energy absorbing capabilities! Don't let him touch you!' Then, they disappeared.
"Oh, this is great." Magus grumbled to himself, before the true significance of Levasos' new toy hit him. His jaw worked for a few seconds before sound started coming out. "How, how, how?!" He pointed at the Masamune unecessarily. "Schala had that sword when she left Elosia! How did you get it?!"
Levasos laughed scornfully. "How do you think? What's the most likely explanation? Idiot!"
Suddenly, Magus didn't care about winning. He only wanted to do as much damage as he could before he went down. As his anger mounted, his thoughts lost even that degree of coherency. Rage was all that remained. "You're gonna pay." He hissed quietly, then launched himself at Levasos with blinding speed. "BASTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARD!!!!!"
Levasos was ready this time. He blocked Magus' lightning fast flurry of strikes with just one hand holding the sword, the rest of his body not moving. "All hermaphrodites are bastards." He explained offhand. "It's not an insult."
There was a small flurry of residual magic each time the dreamstone sword and nightmare rock scythe connected, but Magus was unprepared for the large spark that momentarily held them together, tearing the scythe out of his hands. Before he could even see where it went, Levasos' elbow was slamming under his ribs, pounding him through the brick wall of the hallway, to the room on the other side. As he vomited blood, he was unable to get any air. Levasos picked him up by the collar, and threw him back through the wall. The velocity carried him through the bricks on the other side of the hallway, leaving him twitching on the ground. "Augh, aughck!!" He hacked up more blood. He couldn't breathe at all, and he knew Levasos would be back any second. He raised his flow of chi still more, but it was too late for that. There was already internal bleeding.
Suddenly, Levasos was flying above him, Masamune raised over his head. The Lavoid brought it down with a clang, and Magus was surprised to feel first a numbness, then an incapacitating pain as his right arm was severed. Blood literally gushed out of the stump. Levasos raised the sword once more. "Do you begin to understand yet? How utterly stupid it was to challenge me?" The sword headed for his left arm, when suddenly, it stopped in midair. Levasos pitched forward, and the Masamune left a large vertical gash in his forehead.
'Hurry Janus!' Magus dimly heard Mune's voice in the back of his head. 'You have to get up! We won't be able to do that again!'
Somehow, Magus managed to roll to the side, casting the most powerful healing spell he knew as he did so. He felt well enough to get to his feet, but his arm did not magically reattach itself. Oh well, he would have to worry about that later. "I understand that I can't win a physical battle against you." He said calmly. "But there was always a fairly high probability of that. In case you've forgotten, magic is my specialty." He raised his left arm up, hurrying through the necessary gestures. Levasos finally got the Masamune to budge from its position, and hurried to guide it toward Magus' head. However, he was too late. A concentrated Dark Bomb went off right in his face, blasting him through the wall, back to the hall outside.
Magus calmly stepped through the hole he had made on his way in, and coldly gazed down at Levasos, before his face erupted into a mask of rage. "Now take this, YOOUUUUUU!!! TRI-TECH FIRE!!! DARK ETERNAL!!!!" A Dark Matter erupted right on top of Levasos' downed form, and Magus quickly added the extra spells necessary to turn it into a true monster. The resulting explosion vaporised everything for hundreds of feet around them. As the dust cleared, Magus hunched over, feeling drained.
To his not very great surprise, a clapping sound could be heard in the dust. "Well, your power is impressive." The Lavoid's voice drifted out to him. "In fact, much greater than I expected. I'm pleased." As the dust settled down, Levasos could clearly be seen, not a scratch on him. The Masamune was glowing brightly. "But your skill leaves much to be desired. It takes more than sheer power to win a fight, you know."
"Who said I was done?" Magus demanded as he blasted Levasos with yet another spell. A raging explosion of shadow with veins of ice detonated on top of the Lavoid, and he was blasted into a crater over fifty feet deep.
"Honestly, I don't understand why you normal humans are so stubborn." The ever more infuriating voice came again. But this time, Magus raised his eyebrows in surprise. What did he mean by "normal" humans? Did he think of himself as a type of human too? "Haven't you gotten it through your head that you're no match for me?"
"I haven't exhausted all my options yet." Magus managed a grin. He put his left arm straight out, and his hand perpendicular to the arm. A brilliant glow that alternated between red, white, and yellow began to emanate from his hand. "Now Levasos, if you're really as invincible as you think, just stay right there! Here it comes!" The energy he had been gathering formed into a ball, hovering just inches from his hand. "Big Bang Attack!!" The mega condensed ball of chi launched at Levasos, who continued to walk calmly forward. He was instantly eveloped in a gigantic explosion, which served to widen the already gigantic hole the Dark Eternal detonation had ripped in the fortress. The glow from the blast filled up the entire sky.
Magus' ears were ringing from the noise of the blast, but somehow, he managed to hear, "Pitiful. Just pitiful." As his vision returned to normal, Levasos was walking across empty air, exactly where the ground had been before the explosion. Magus heaved a sigh. He didn't have the energy for disbelief anymore. But he wasn't about to submit either.
"I'm not giving up yet!!" He roared. "You must have a weakness! I will find it!"
"Of course I have a weakness. Several, in fact." Levasos nodded. "Someone with a power to rival mine could easily exploit them. "But you don't even come close." Now, he resumed his fighting stance. Magus groaned in exasperation. "I'm declaring this fight over, right now."
"Like hell you argh!!" Magus uttered the last words he would have air for in a while. Levasos' fist had smashed through his armor, pounding into his stomach. Dropping the Masamune, his other hand plowed into Magus' face, sending the wizard pounding into the dirt. Before he even had time to realize what had happened, Levasos was kicking him in the groin, then the stomach, then the neck. Magus felt himself being picked up, then wailed on mercilessly. He tried desperately to get a spell out, but felt his fingers being broken as he made the gestures necessary to command the shadow energy. Finally, he was slammed into the ground, a heavy kick smashing his ribs a second later. He reflexively tried to scream, but no sound came out.
"Yes, I'd say you're just about ready." Levasos announced calmly. As he walked around to stand at Magus' feet, what was meant to be a sweeping kick connected with his right leg, but it just bounced harmlessly away. "Yes, you are now powerless to resist." Levasos folded his arms and waited, watching Magus' tortured breathing slowly return to some facsimile of normal. He allowed Magus to rise to a kneeling position. "Now show me how you control your own fate, Janus. Show me a choice you have besides joining me or dying."
Suddenly, Magus jumped to his feet, grinning broadly. "There are so many, I don't know where to begin." He declared confidently, as if he wasn't horribly injured. He spread his feet apart, and a force field of chi surrounded him. Little white sparkles of energy began to drift up from everywhere including from Levasos' own skin. For a moment, the Lavoid thought Magus was trying to cast a Spirit Bomb, but he belatedly realized that Magus was doing something quite different.
"Saishyuu Saiga no Waza!!!" Magus declared. "HYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!" Instantly, the very life began to drain from Magus' body, the energy transfered to a blazing hot, and even more blazingly powerful explosion that radiated out from the wizard. The color began to drain from Magus' skin, and Levasos watched with surprise as his own skin erupted into boils, then started bleeding, as the explosion neared him.
"No." Levasos wagged a finger, and the energy instantly receded. It was reabsorbed into Magus' body, and the wizard looked astonished. He said nothing as Levasos approached him once more. "You were bluffing. That was the only idea you had, wasn't it?" Magus bowed his head. Levasos was surprised, until out of the corner of his eye, he saw the wizard's scythe rapidly flying toward him. Magus still made no move, and Lavos realized the scythe was perfectly positioned to slice the human's head open. So, as it raced toward Magus, he caught it, then jammed it into the ground. "You would choose death over me? I'm hurt!" He declared, though he didn't look it. "You need to reali-" His eyes bulged in surprise as Magus wrapped the broken, swollen, spasming fingers of his one remaining arm around the scythe, then nimbly twirled around. Levasos brought his shoulder up to protect his neck, and the nightmare rock blade cut deep into it. They glared at each other, both growling.
"As long as there is breath in this body, I will fight you!" Magus snarled, and for the first time, Levasos believed him.
"We'll see about that." He growled dangerously.
Though both already knew what the eventual outcome of the battle would be, the two warriors from Elosia fought on.
"The point is, I don't understand him and I don't want to try." - Belthasar, The Story of Magus
Chrono Trigger Fanfic