Soul Pendant Chapter 5
The Millennial Armageddon
Everyone jogged towards the castle in the forest. The bushes made a rustling sound and every one of them dashed by. Magus, whom of all was doing the least effort, started to slow down. Lucca, least to close the formation, thought of slapping him in the head as she passed by, but then she remembered that, after all, it was Magus whom she was talking about.
"Anything's wrong?" She asked catching up with him.
"Nothing's wrong. Go on with your battle."
"OUR battle." She remarked. Magus slowed down to a stop. "What? Do you mean you aren't helping us?!?" She angrily asked stopping too.
"Why should I? This fight doesn't concern me in any way."
"Traitor..." A voice was heard behind Lucca. It was Frog whom had noticed the event and went back.
"Traitor? I am not switching sides. I'm just staying out of what doesn't involve me. Opposed to what you may think, I don't enjoy battling just for fighting's sake."
"But I thought we were allies!" Lucca complained not quite realizing Magus' attitude.
"Let's leave him... He's a mystic. Maybe he will attack us too." Frog told Lucca and started walking back.
"Is that it? You don't want to fight your people?"
"I have no sides. I owe nothing to any of them. Besides, Ozzie VIII is just a pathetic parody of the ruler his ancestor was."
"And if it were the first Ozzie...? You'd be thankful, right?"
"Okay, don't answer. But haven't you thought Marle, and thus the Guardia line, could be Schala's descendant?"
"There are no..."
"Also, the outcome of this battle will have a great influence on history..." Lucca's head came up in yet another sudden realization, but came back to the topic. "...deciding who will rule. If Schala's in the future, who do you think would receive her better, a human government, or a mystic government?"
Magus leaned back on the tree that was beside him. "All right, since you need me so badly I will help you. Anyway, I always wanted to test my skills against Ozzie, and this one seems to have doubled in power his ancestor." Magus said smoothing the edge of his scythe. The three continued on their way through the forest.
"Where are Lucca, Frog and Magus? We need to organize!" Marle cried.
"Everyone's outside. Your Majesty, stay here, there are troops designed to protect you. Marle, let's get that board to the outside, you girls come with us." Crono said referring to Atropos and Ayla in the last phrase.
The group went to the main courtyard, were several dozens of different people waited for them. Another messenger greeted them. "They're crossing Zenan Bridge. It won't be long before they arrive here."
Marle assumed command and turned the board so everyone could see the sketches that mainly Lucca had drawn in them.
"The battle will have to be fought in this courtyard as last planned. This is the battle that has been more close to the castle in all of Guardia history, in the castle itself! We must not fail."
"We're here!" Lucca said entering the field along with the frog and the wizard.
"Good. You're the best one to explain this, SERGEANT LUCCA."
Everyone but about a dozen people not dressed in armor bursted out laughing.
"All right! All right! There's no time for this!" Lucca stood next to the board and took of the antenna of her helmet to point with it. "Well, due to the lack of official soldiers we had to recruit forces among the talented ones in the continent. Everyone equip themselves as instructed and assume the positions I will direct you."
"Gunners," Lucca continued. 16 people seemed to have been taken among the townspeople, ranging from teens to young adults, walked ahead, including Fritz. They carried a red band around their chests. "You were trained by me in the use of fire arms. Your weapons are in that pile. 2 units of Gunners will be strategically placed in the windows on the castle's front wall, from where you will open fire to the attackers. Another unit will guard the throne room from the outside and the last one will be guarding the king inside it in case of an emergency." The gunners took weapons from Lucca's storage like the Megablast, Shock Wave, Ruby Gun, Dream Gun, Plasma Gun and others, as Lucca kept the Wonder Shot to herself. They split up to the accorded locations.
"The archers were trained by Marle." 14 individuals that looked like the gunners, but there seemed to be more women and young people, also took a step ahead. They bestowed a blue band. "Your weapons from Marle's storage are there. 2 units of five will be with the gunners on the castle walls, other two archers will keep the throne door and the last two will accompany the king." The Comet Arrow, Sonic Arrow, Dream Bow, Sage Bow, Robin Bow and others were taken and the archers took their respective positions. Marle used the Valkerye.
"Knights." 10 men wearing the royal armor stepped up. "You are the survivors of the last battle so you must be the best skilled in swordfighting. You will be on our first attack line, but two of you stay and guard the king in the throne room. Crono and Frog have chosen the best of their weapons to hand it to you." Half the knights whom knew how to handle katanas picked up the Star Sword, the Slasher 2, the Kali Blade, the Vedic Blade and the Shiva Edge and the others picked up the Flash Blade, the Pearl Edge, the Demon Hit and the Rune Blade. Also the Brave Sword was displayed and picked, generating comments, "That's Guardia's Regal Sword!" It really was, 400 years newer. Lucca had to think of a quick excuse, like "No, it is not, it has been forged to look like It." Two of the men headed back into the castle.
"Finally, Crono trained 20 boys so they could handle a sword with relative skill." These boys wearing soldier's armor stepped ahead. "You will be our middle body, but four of you stay as the emergency force in the King's room. Take the swords that have been left in the piles." The boys took Crono's weapons as the Alloy Blade, Demon Edge, Slasher, Aeon Blade, Flint Edge, Red Katana and Bolt sword. The less skilled took regular Samurai and Knight swords from the pile. Also four of them headed back into the castle. Frog and Crono wielded the powered Masamune and the Rainbow, respectively.
"All right guys, we will be the leading force. I will take an unit of three knights and attack from the right. Magus, take two knights and use the advantage of your magic to stop the attackers from the front. Ayla, take another three knights and take the attacking force from the front too. Frog, you'll have to take four trained soldiers and try to breach from the left. Marle and Atropos, you'll be the healers, but stand at the castle gates and engage battle in case anyone reaches there. Crono, back up them but be ready to help in case any of us gets in trouble. Understood?"
Everyone nodded and grouped as specified. Marle walked to the center and spoke again. "I would like to thank to all of you people for helping us in this precarious condition. Had not been for Lucca's great strategy, we would have been crushed by the mystics' astounding recovery. People will remember this battle in the future. We may not be the most magnificent army on history, but we fight for our kingdom, and that is enough to make us win this fight!" A cheer among the people was the reply.
As the fighters moved into their battle positions in the field, Lucca took Atropos in a small conversation.
"This battle must be an important event in history, right?"
"Given the characteristics of it, yes, it should be."
"Then you must have this event recorded in your data bank." Atropos nodded and her eyes started blinking. "For the human-ruled future, I'd take we did, but... who won?"
"Lucca, I have no memory of this incident." She said after a small while. "It's like it never happened."
"Was your memory erased?"
"No. I even have records for this day. Today, your father invented..." A blast came from Lucca's house and the whole island was hidden in a thick cloud. "...the smoke bomb."
"Do you mean this event wasn't recorded in the original time stream?"
"That's the way I'd explain it. There was a change in story."
"A change in story? This battle was never supposed to happen? But how? And this means that... if we lose, the future will surely change..." Lucca's earlier enthusiasm was now replaced by fear, but not fear for the battle, but for the consequences if they lost. Again she carried great responsibility. "All right everyone! Let's go! We have to win!"
A few minutes passed. "Ozzie's troops should have appeared in the horizon by now. Where's the watch-off?" Lucca asked. "Maybe we could consider advancing some troops to the forest." She shouted.
"I don't think that's an option!" Ozzie VIII's bloated mass cried in glee as he emerged from the forest. At that moment, swarms of mystic creatures jumped up from the trees that hid them.
"Yikes." Crono simply said and drew his sword.
"I don't like his sneaks neither. How did he do that?" Magus muttered as he secured his glove down his hand.
"We'll have time to talk later! Attack! Fwhahaja!" The flying creatures began a dive towards the defenders. Even the imps were hovering. As if that weren't enough, Henchs marched out of the forest.
"20 Diablo class creatures, 20 Imp class creatures, 25 Hench class creatures and 75 Vamps. Ozzie VIII is accompanied by a magical beast previously known as Heckran." Atropos said, transmitting the information to Lucca, who had attached the antenna back into her helmet.
"Great. They both overpower and outnumber us. What did they do, bring back Magus' castle? CHARGE!!" Lucca shouted swinging her gun ahead like it was some sword.
The front squadrons confronted the oncoming Henchs (really TeoHenchs) also grouped by five; one group was left behind. Three bodies of Diablos (TeoDiablos in Mystic side's word) jumped over them and engaged battle with the twelve soldiers in the middle field, teamed up four against four.
Frog led his group to face the enemy. Fortunately no doubt shadowed their steps to the confrontation. "We shall fight to protect thy kingdom in all of times and places. Thou canst defeat whom fights knowing he belongs to justice!" He said upon the blocking of the enemy forces, and with honor unsheathed the Masamune showing the enemy to get ready.
Two of the boys showed their determination and slashed a Hench each, backing up immediately as Crono had taught them. Frog felt a satisfaction he had never before seeing this spirit and proceed himself to jump as high as his legs allowed him, to bring his sword down on another of the enemies, leaving a slash on all the extension of it.
The counterattack showed the strength of the enemies they were fighting. Two Henchs lunged forward against one of the courageous boys and that was enough to leave him out of combat. Another two punched Frog, who could withstand it quite a bit, and the last one went for the other boy whom had attacked, that was left in a barely good enough state to fight. But the strong attack did not scare the other two boys, whom instead slashed with more will and finished the Hench Frog had wounded earlier.
Again Frog felt proud and summoned the power that laid inside of him, causing a mass of water to wash the energy of the enemies away. Despite his wounds, the remaining guy jumped forward with his sword, and another mystic bit the dust, or better to say became it. As expected, the counterattack was stronger and the Henchs hurled themselves in the form of balls, leaving a miraculously standing boy and a Frog whom considered more prudent to heal than to wait for his levels to become low enough to summon the squashing frog.
After receiving energy from Frog's replenishing Heal magic, and seeing the same lunge his tongue out to drag an enemy, then hack it, the remaining soldier struck, not caring if he wouldn't be standing for next attack. He was right, as the Henchs had no mercy and all three rolled into them at full force. Frog felt two hits take him closer to the loss of his structural integrity, but also knowing that if he healed, next round would be three instead the hits that struck; and that another water wave wouldn't be enough.
The enemies looked up when the light was blocked over them, only to see and feel a gigantic, green, slick mass bounce over them several times. When two of three Henchs stood back up, they laughed at their luck, but also at the puzzled face of their foe. He was right, his levels weren't low enough, but still it had been the better choice. One of the monsters landed an uppercut on the frog's soft head, only to see his suffering and vital liquids fly by.
Frog didn't know how was he still conscious. When he saw the other Hench prepare its punch, he knew he could only hope the remaining forces could hold them. He closed his eyes, but then heard the unmistakable sound of a blade cutting through flesh. Only he could catch two broadswords driven onto the bodies of the monsters, but that was enough to give him peace before falling restless into the floor, breathing heavily.
Four kids whose armors looking big for them was the only thing that stopped the Diablos from taking over the castle, the latter group thought. One of them kicked a boy on the chest, throwing him some feet away. How weak. Another wanted to try too and spun on the air, kicking another boy on the face around five times. He was sent sprawling on the floor, dazed. It was fun for the Diablos how they completely had the boys under their will. Other of the devilish creatures decided to start finishing the brats off and dove with all its might towards the one whom was previously kicked, but a blast right on its face sent it back.
Five more weapons were fired, of which two powerful arrows dug onto the skin of the demon, and another energy bullet burned the monster, leaving barely a hint of life on it. The remaining Diablos looked up to find several more boys loading their weapons to fire again at them, and the previous smiles were erased from their expressions. It became yet less fun as the attacked soldiers stood up again, damaged yes, but not having loss a little of their fighting will.
The Guardia soldiers attacked, turning the wounded demon into dust and leaving another one with cuts it would not forget in the rest of its living span. The mystics dove forward again with such strength only one of the boys was left standing. But again bullets rained from above, and another monster fell, but the true terror invaded the enemies when a golden light covered the body of one of the fallen Guardians, and angels within it brought the boy back to full strength.
A Diablo looked around to see the princess winking at the just revived boy; it was true the rumor about her healing powers. It also noticed a similar situation happening to other of the Diablo squadrons that had penetrated the middle lines. The long-range weaponry could weight the balance over the side of Guardia, so the mystic thought he should plan an action against them. As its remaining companion pummeled yet another youth, the monster jumped as high as it could with the help of its wings, then looked down too see eight guys with bows and guns shooting in several directions, including the mystic he had just left, whom collapsed.
But more importantly, there was a free window among the guys, so the demon glided through it. The Diablo found himself in a small corridor with four kids at each side, all defenseless against him. One of them tried to hit him with the back of his bow, using the long-range weapons in that situation wasn't an option. "Well, let's see how well can the soldiers fight close and personal!" The mystic said as the damage sustained was almost none, and prepared to slam into several guys in a row.
"I wouldn't say that." The Diablo felt a gun placed against his head. Fritz stood in the tight space between the monster and the window, holding the Megablast with both hands, having the mystic completely under control. "You should know there are nine shooters in each wall, and also check who's ducking besides the windows." Fritz closed his eyes at the same time he pulled the trigger, making the monster's head blow and spurt up just before it vanished in red dust. The body fell and suffered the same fate.
A blue flash was seen and Atropos had healed two boys from near death. The two looked at each other and dashed in a X formation, striking at the same time with their swords. The double tech finished another Diablo, bringing worry to the remaining one of the group. Looking to the left, it saw the last of another Diablo squad being defeated. "Master Ozzie, we need help." It said disconnecting from the world for a second, just before the shots and arrows from the walls landed over him.
The mystic commander heard his trooper's voice, but not through the undecipherable noise of the battle, but entering into his head by some alternate plane. It was the telephatic power the fact of having magic course into your body like blood enabled some mystcis to have. "TeoVamps! TeoImps!" The blue creatures immediately lined up into four rows. Of the swarm of bats over the forest, two independent clusters came down. "Attack the unarmored kids, and more importantly, TeoImps, take care of the ones firing at everyone from the windows."
The Vamps divided and flew up to later make a vertical descent over two groups of the Guardia middle soldiers. Two bands of Imps did something between jumping and flying to get past the front lines with extreme ease, also dividing to the left and the right. But the last one stopped in mid-air when he noticed one of the front battles. Its mind couldn't believe what its eyes were seeing. It could only cry, "Master! I think you should see this!"
Two knights, briefly trained by Frog to battle mystics, fought bravely another formation of five Henchs. They tried a X Strike, premium technique shown to them, sending a mystic flying then falling back into the floor, but yet having the enough strength to stand back up. The five monsters attacked the Guardians, diminishing drastically their state, but the knights fought back. When one brought his sword down on an enemy, then in anger swung it back up, the monster disintegrated into nothingness.
The four remaining monsters prepared to pummel the knights again, posing a true threat to them due their damaged state. But there were stopped when a wall of darkness rose around them, closing into a dome, and a shadow force tried to shake the life out of them, partially succeeding. The Henchs vowed to find the responsible of the spell after it wore out, and their eyes grew as big as plates when they found the one. In front of them stood... "Ma- Magus!" The legendary dark warrior. His cape and unmistakable blue hair waved back in the breeze. His pale skin and eyes as deep as black holes confirmed him as a being to whom Shadow magic was part of himself. And in the worst of all, he was against them.
"What are you waiting for?" Magus said, staring at the mystics paralyzed in astonishment. The knights smiled to each other and tried the double technique again, ripping through another monster. The wizard decided to make the enemies suffer a little more and sent a Dark Mist through their bodies.
However, the world froze around Magus for a second. He then saw a group of Imps heading towards him, reading their spells. He decided to leave the Henchs for the fighters and tackle the magic-users himself. Three mystics released different colored energy just before a triangle of magic encased him in destructive power. A delta. That reduced the utility of his barriers, but yet he commanded four Shadow orbs to protect him, what did have some use when another Imp made a thunderbolt land over him.
Yet another Delta attack. Now they were taking a toll of him. On the worst, this one was different he had received from Crono, Frog and Lucca on his castle, one that he supposed how to neutralize. He knew he could have no mercy and called all the darkness he possessed to materialize attacking the Imps, indeed damaging them. Another Imp shot a fireball, but Magus didn't even notice.
The appearance of the Imps took the Henchs out of their shock, and the four charged against the knights, making them fall on their knees. The brave men hoped the monsters were weakened enough to finish with them, which was confirmed when one of the mystics died at the knight's swordblow. The another jumped to attack too, but a bolt of lighting from an Imp struck, leaving him only to succumb on the floor. The Henchs laughed.
Delta Triangles came, Dark Matters went. Magus knew when he was in danger, so he casted a Magic Wall upon himself just as his Shadow barrier wore off. An array of elements showered over him, but he was able to withstand the damage and cast a Black Hole. As he supposed, most Imps couldn't oppose to the force after being damaged so deeply, so they were sucked into the unknown. The remaining one used all of its energy to make that section of the field blast into flames, making Magus' vision lose clarity as he started to experience difficulty to stand on his feet. He still managed to cast a final Dark Bomb, destroying the monster. It had taken him a lot of effort, but he had won.
Magus began to search the inside of his cape for something to replenish himself before rejoining the battle. Suddenly, he turned around, grabbing his spear with the other hand to take it to an horizontal position, the spearhead facing the direction of his turn, making the whole blade go through the body of an attacking Hench. The mage briefly looked around, finding both of the Guardian knights lying on the floor, but where were the another mystics? As he slashed in a wide arc to his left, cutting deep into the flesh of a Hench's belly, felt a loud thud on the opposite side of his head and no more.
The three knights were both astounded and encouraged by Ayla's fighting spirit. She roared and extended her punches on the air, but that didn't stop yet another group of five bulky mystics to come close.
Ayla did not give them a chance. Her body shook as she concentrated all her physical and psychological strength in the action and flew, kicking the nearest monster three times with the might of a boulder. One of the attacking knights finished that same enemy before the four remaining monsters counterattacked.
The cavewoman then picked up one of the fiends and threw it at other, destroying it with the help of the knights. The monsters attacked again, and the knights started showing signs of wear, thought Ayla was fine. She prepared to strike again when she heard a painful cry.
Ayla turned around to see one of the boys on the castle's right wall, Lucca's protected, fall down his clothes wrapped on fire. Ayla did not know a lot of things, but one was to protect weak ones. "You fight them," she simply said to the knights and jumped off towards the back of the field.
A smile -or something that could be interpreted like one- drew on the faces of the Henchs. Both warriors attacked a same Hench, but as expected this was not nearly enough to finish it off. It was obvious the knights didn't stand a chance against the Henchs alone. The three mystics flung themselves against the Guardians, teaming up against one man, that fell to the ground completely beaten up.
One of the knights decided he was only left to fight, and as he prepared to hit again, his world became a peaceful and warming red. The knight, and the others, watched in astonishment as a spinning clock face descended upon him, transferring some kind of its energy at him. As soon it finished, the knight jumped towards a Hench at surprising speed and slashed it strongly doing a spin before jumping back. Before anyone could even react, he jumped again over the same enemy and brought his sword down on it, and not being this enough, he slashed again pulling his sword up, fully spirited on the battle. The monster was defeated at the attack and the other knight had the chance to strike another of the two remaining mystics.
"A Haste is always uplifting as well." Marle said from the stairs, and prepared another dose of the spell. The enemies, in a mix of fear and battle strategy, rammed the "enhanced" knight. Though they could not inflict him as much damage due to the defender's speed, the damage forced him to fall on his knees.
Seeing his companion in such danger, the another knight prepared to land fierce blows of his sword, but the warming light that had covered his friend came over him, improving his speed. He hacked the same enemy he had earlier, twice. The wounded knight, determined to not to be left behind, jumped too and finished that enemy.
The only remaining Hench enraged. It was not possible these pathetic contenders would defeat him. It tried to tackle the knight whom could not stand up, but the other knight stood on its way, so it better opted for charging against that one. Both knights had to kneel on the ground, but they fought and one, two, three, four cuts sent the monster to its doom.
Tired and wounded, the two knights breathed relief. Then, they saw Frog, whom had trained them briefly, a figure of honor and admiration, and whose swords they held, facing alone two Henchs. He was near death, and the punch the mystic was going to give him would finish him off. The knights looked at each other and threw their swords right at the Henchs with all their remaining might, falling by the might they carried. Two slitting sounds, showing that they had succeeded, made them smile on the ground.
The incandescent energy was concentrate enough and it was becoming unstable and hard to control. It was the right moment. "Flare!" She cried and the blaze was let go of forming an explosion that expanded over and over, engulfing the five Henchs. Two of the three knights that accompanied her focused in one target, destroying it after their attacks. Lucca took the battle... coldly, it could be said. She forgot her fear and looked for the best strategies to defeat the enemy. Probably that's why she had organized the troops.
One fallen companion and another wounded, as well as herself, were left after the mystics' enraged attack. Lucca casted Protect over the wounded man, he would last a good while more. Both knights attacked again the same Hench, and it was defeated. They would win, Lucca thought, but a lightning bolt and a cry for help on her back worried her. She turned around to see Imps destroying the armored troop on the castle wall with magic attacks. "HEY!!" How did they dare to do that to HER squadron? She started summoning the blaze within her and jumped towards the little annoying blue creatures.
Soldiers partially reanimated by Marle and Atropos fought a large cluster of Vamps, neither side winning the advantage because the gunners and archers were fending off a group of magic-using Imps that, to tell the truth, were beating the crap out of them.
An Imp shot a succession of blue flames towards one of the windows. The girl in there tried shooting at the spell, but no use. She was frozen in place. The Imp was laughing when a fiery wave followed by multiple explosions blew it off the ground.
Lucca turned to the left. The mystics could be easily be applying the same strategy to the long-range troops on the other side. She saw Ayla with an Imp in her mouth, shaking him as a dog would do when ripping a piece of meat, so she did not worry for that side. She shook the thoughts of frying another soldier off an Imp's head with a good shot to the same.
It had been easy for the Henchs to defeat the knights after Lucca went off. The girl was distracted with the Imps; her back turned to them. So the great leader had made a mistake. Two of them had survived in a state good enough to attack, so they both charged at her at the same time, not noticing the green lines coming out of the ground between them and Lucca.
A blinding green light from beside her distracted Lucca. She turned around just in time to see two Henchs be finished by a Luminaire. They were scaringly close to her. She then realized they were going to hit her, and that combined to the attack of the Imps would be enough to end with her. She also remembered she had left the knights alone with Henchs, which was confirmed when she saw them, unmoving on the ground. How could have had she? She shouldn't allow something like that again. She muttered a "Thanks Crono" to the same, whom was engaged in battle already, and went against the Imps again.
Crono, Marle and Atropos were on guard if anyone needed their help. Crono luckily discovered some Diablos gliding at some height over them. They could easily climb the walls and get in the castle if they continued in that trajectory, but Crono wouldn't allow that. He jumped on the stone handrail of the stairs, then over an ornament on the wall and landed on one of the first floor windows, fortunately when the assigned occupant was inside recharging his bow. He contracted his body and several magic sparks came to his body. Crono then jumped up with all his might and released the energy at the top of his jump. Electric bolts in the form of a Lightning 2 spell spun out of him, shocking the Diablos a few feet over him, making them all fall to the ground.
Eight mystics was more that they were used to fight with. And Marle and Atropos were already busy helping people around the field. Crono engulfed all eight in a Luminaire using the advantage they had been surprised. Thought he had equipped himself with a Gold Stud, he remembered not to overuse his abilities. While Marle hasted someone, Atropos used an Uzi Punch to get rid of the first of the enemies. The monsters attacked all three doing some damage. Atropos healed, Marle casted a spell on another someone far away and Crono did a Confuse taking care of another mystic. The Diablos attacked Atropos in a row until she was taken out of commission, but Crono reactivated her with Life as Marle destroyed yet another mystic with the Valkerye.
The five mystics left attacked Crono and Marle, leaving them near death, but Atropos and Marle teamed up leaving the group in perfect state of health. Crono whirled around an enemy, slashing it four times again, sure of his victory. Marle must have been really sure of winning too, as she dedicated herself to healing the boys at the left, and even winking at them! Atropos dedicated herself to a similar task -without the winking.
Crono received fully the dive of two Diablos, but he didn't mind and jumped up, bringing his sword down hardly on one of them, finishing it. Crono saw strangely groups of Imps jumping over the field, but the three remaining Diablos struck, making Crono consider more important to heal and he pulled a Full Tonic out, drinking it. The mystics instead of attacking jumped over him, falling in front of the door. Obviously Crono was not letting them inside and started calling the force of Luminaire, but the corner of his eye caught something that made him turn inevitably.
Lucca was deep in battle with Imps in the left field, and two Henchs were running towards her unprotected back. Forgetting about the Diablos, he redirected the spell towards the attackers of Lucca, or better to say where they would be when the spell reacted.
The three Diablos felt in the top of the world just after the castle door closed behind them. "The castle's ours!" One of them shouted. They hadn't looked up a few feet. The handrail up the stairs was lined with archers and gunners, their weapons shining in the light as they held them smiling proudly and mischievously. The boys and girls then let go of a barrage of arrows and shots that not allowed even one mystic to live enough to reach the throne's room door.
After casting the spell, Crono turned around. Not seeing the Diablos where he had left them, he tried to rush in to follow them, but Atropos' arm extended mimicking a barrier between him and the door. "There's more than enough in there to keep them at bay," she said. "Better worry about these ones." Atropos pointed, though it was not necessary to, at the more than two dozens of Vamps closing around them.
Crono was concentrated performing a Cyclone, making life hard for 4 of the Vamps on his area. Still he smiled when he heard "Thanks Crono" from somewhere. After shrugging a lot of Vamps off him, he casted Lightning 2, damaging a lot of bats, including the destruction of the ones he had Cycloned earlier. Through the hole left he could see something that could require his attention.
The two Henchs looked down at the immobile, cape-bearing body. They, TeoMystics, had defeated The Great Magus, IF it was really Magus. He could be, because for what they had been told about him, he was not far from being immortal. They stared back up at their general, one of the Henchs trying to contain the blood pouring from the big gash on his belly. The commander signaled them to go further into battle.
Ozzie smiled at himself. He had defeated Magus. He had carefully and perfectly maneuvered his troops into doing that. He was sure it was the real Magus even after 400 years, no one else could have used Dark Matter, though maybe a descendant of the original Magus. The only thing he didn't like was that he would have liked to avenge his ancestor himself. Anyway, Ozzie cleared his thoughts off the magician and sent two more units of Vamps to attack the defenders on the castle entrance. They were backing up strongly the whole troops of the battle.
The mystic commander called his remaining troops, including the hideous TeoHeckran, to plan the launch of the final attack. He was not aware when a golden light covered Magus and an angel breathed life back into him. The mage stood up, bitterly aware of his defeat and that he owed Crono one, or was it that Crono no longer owed one to Magus? At any rate, he wasn't going to leave things the way they were. Magus pulled an Elixir out of somewhere and drank it to full strength, then wrapped himself on his cape.
After reviving Magus, Crono continued to take care of the Vamps surrounding them. Atropos, to his side, scanned the area to find Frog was lying on the right field, with the dangerous sum of 3 HP. She executed an Area Bomb, roasting 4 Vamps, but shouted Marle the situation. She, Crono making the bats pester her a little less, casted a Cure 2 on the frog.
The battle of the center group of Diablos with the center group of trained soldiers had been a draw for a long time, mostly because neither side had paid it much attention. Just the long-range troops on the castle walls evened the situation between the sides, but even that was scarce due to the problems they were having now.
It had been reduced to a slightly wounded Diablo fighting a soldier in perfect condition, but the boy had the next strike. He jumped forward, but two big meat balls -literally- pounced into him, knocking him down. They revealed to be two Henchs using their roll attack. The monsters joined into one group and went to attack the rear lines.
The people in the stairs were kept busy by a swarm of Vamps. One Diablo jumped over them and planned to land hard on the girl, but burning metal cut it from head to toe, throwing it back. "A favour given, a favour paid." There was Frog.
Atropos grabbed Crono by his legs and they spun, decimating the Vamps. Marle and Frog casted Glacier, playing havoc on the mystics.
Lucca and Ayla had cleared the left and right fields of monsters, though very few of the brave youths had remained standing. The group on the stairs was finishing with the mystics near the gates. Ozzie decided to release TeoHeckran, with some little more Henchs, Imps and Vamps. The gruesome creature let out a terrifying roar. Ozzie saw everyone turn, his or her faces showing some fear or acknowledgement. He laughed uncontrollably on the air as his monsters advanced.
He then saw a caped figure hover down to his level, blocking his troops from him, all his body defying. Ozzie turned, but the body he had left there was no longer, it was now standing in front of him.
"So, you're Ozzie VIII, descendant of Ozzie the Great."
"And I'd say you're the great Magus, weren't you fighting with the wimpy humans."
"I am indeed Magus, and I fight whoever I want. I command you to leave at once."
Ozzie laughed, simulating he was trying to contain it. "Be or not Magus, wizard, you have no authority to command me anything."
"Power brings the strong command over the weak ones." Magus said coldly.
"Then let's see who commands whom!" Ozzie hovered back and opened his arms, reading for battle.
Magus readjusted the glove on his right hand. Four black pearls appeared, flying around it before transferring its energy back into the mage just as he narrowed his eyes.
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