Soul Pendant Chapter 6
Fights That End, Mysteries That Begin
Ozzie and Magus were ready. Ozzie shouted no more than a "Ha!" and opened his fat arms, sending a huge ball of fire to Magus. The mage didn't know if to laugh or to yawn when he grabbed his scythe, casted a fire barrier on it, and pointed it to the fireball, making it dissipate harmlessly. But Magus' confidence was diminished when he looked up and had the exact time to make another barrier stop a lightning bolt millimeters above his hair.
"Impressive," said at the same time Ozzie and Magus. Ozzie laughed immediately, but Magus frowned like few times he had did. Ozzie was merely toying with him. "Well then, I will show you darkness to a degree you could never muster."
Magus released magic energy that took the form of four black pearls before disappearing to the normal eye. In the magic plane, three of them formed a triangle and started releasing the darkest power ever seen, while the remaining, becoming white in front of the others, moderated the energy concentrating it in the confines of the triangle. The pearls then became completely Shadow energy themselves, showing the double black and white triangle known as Dark Matter that came close to Ozzie at unimaginable speed.
The mystic did not seem disturbed. He pointed again his arm at the spell incarnation and, for once, Magus was surprised. The white triangle grew and the black became smaller, melding in a hexagon of bright color, neutralizing the spell. That action granted the enemy the privilege of seeing an open-mouthed Magus, although only for an instant. "Only someone from Zeal could know how to do such a thing! What kind of being are you?" The mage shouted. Ozzie's only response, if he consciously did it, was a red bright gleam in his eye for a second. This was not being a talkative foe.
Magus analyzed his opponent as he always did. He seemed to have the laughter, selfishness, confidence... stupidity of the original Ozzie in the outside, but the truth was that he had great coldness and control over himself and the magic element. A worthy foe indeed.
As if he had read Magus' mind, Ozzie smirked. He lifted his arms and they seemed to be charged with yellow energy. "Giga Bolt!" He shouted and the energy dissipated in millions of sparkles that quickly traveled to up in the sky. A rumbling sound was heard, and a truly gigantic thunderbolt zoomed down to Magus. In split seconds, the wizard saw the attack. It was something monstrous, unnatural, something that shouldn't exist. The lightning bolt was thick enough to house a man within it, in the case that was possible. The laws of nature would have to have been very twisted for so much energy to do that.
Magus knew that a barrier couldn't hold the whole of such an attack, and that Ozzie VIII was skillful enough to exploit that weakness shall he got caught in such a trap. He decided it was a good time to prove what he thought was theoretically possible. Magus opened a Black Hole, with him on the center, just as the gigantic show of electricity erased him from sight.
Incredibly, the bolt continued slamming into ground, pouring energy from the heavens, for whole seconds before stopping. Magus was nowhere to be seen. Ozzie was about the release his laugh of victory when he noticed that the ground around Magus where the bolt had struck wasn't damaged. Ozzie gained some height just in time to see Magus come out of the Black Hole, slightly scorched, trying to wipe the ash out of his clothes.
"Nice change to your usually pale skin," the mystic laughed. Magus noticed how good he would have fit in the group of his allies against Lavos. He also noted something else. Ozzie always used his arms in some way for his spells, and the energy was physically shown in them before being released. That must have been how he handled so big amounts of surplus energy, though there were still a lot of unexplained facts around him. But, most importantly, it gave him one key to defeat him.
The mage charged forward, his scythe on the right hand besides him, his left hand forward glowing with energy. Ozzie, making use of his arms again, threw at him a rain of ice meteors, which were no problem for the ice barrier Magus casted as he dashed forward. He turned a little to his left, Ozzie's right, and produced a big ball of black energy, which he promptly shot at Ozzie when he was just a few meters from him.
Ozzie, arms extended, only had time to place his right hand against the ball and apply resistance to it, that making all of his right side recede back before stopping it. He planned to fire the energy ball back at Magus, whom dashed blindly into him. "Ah-Ha!" The mystic leader cried as he placed the ball right in the wizard's face.
"Nothing." Magus simply said as the ball indeed vanished into nothing just centimeters from him. At the same time, Magus moved his free arm and inserted the blade of his scythe on Ozzie's completely unprotected, totally forgotten, and very bad positioned left arm. Magus cut through the arm almost parallel to the same, getting close to peeling the skin off that arm, before removing his scythe swiftly. Ozzie's reflexes made him protect the wound with his other arm; move that was took advantage of by Magus, whom slashed mercilessly both arms with the point of his scythe as he retreated.
"Rats!" Exclaimed Ozzie having fell to the ground, pitifully trying to lean on the ground as ooze, the phonetically most correct thing to be in his veins, dripped from his wounds. "How did you know my only weakness?"
"It was very revealing of you to make those arm moves during every attack. It has been shown it's me whom commands, but you wouldn't obey me anyway, would you?"
"I would rather die."
"The mystics wouldn't continue the attack without their leader. So be it!" Magus lifted his scythe over his head, his rage eyes not noticing three things: That Ozzie's wounds weren't bleeding as wounds that bad should, that the arm Ozzie was supposedly leaning on wasn't placed against the ground, and, more importantly, that the hand of that arm, hidden from Magus' sight, had the same pale eerie black glow they had before he sent beings express way to death just by pointing at them.
"MAGUS!" A female but strong voice shouted. The band of mystics and particularly TeoHeckran was overwhelming Lucca and the others. "Leave your stupid fight and get on the Epoch to bring help from somewhere!"
"NO!!!" Ozzie shouted pointing his arm at Magus, withering him instantly to death; that is, if Magus had been there and not already floating up in the air. "DARN IT!" Ozzie VIII shouted as he effortlessly healed his wounds and resumed his floating composure.
"Lucca must be in real trouble to say 'someWHERE' referring to another time era. Besides, Ozzie can't do anything else and will be humiliated if I leave him like that," Magus thought, not even bothering to see back as he hovered over everything and landed in front of an alley in the castle walls. He followed it to an inner patio of the castle, where the Epoch was. Magus got inside quickly and lifted off.
"The high technology of 2300 AD may be useful to us." Magus tried to set the gauge to that era, but it wouldn't stay put there or any point in the future, it would move to the End of Time. Magus tried three more times before deciding it was more important to get the help quickly and switched to 65000000 AD. Upon pressing the engage button, he came to same realization that Lucca and Atropos: This battle could be deciding the future, changing story. This meant the event wasn't in the original time stream, so the enemy besides all this was more powerful than they thought, the mystics could be only a piece in the game.
Ozzie VIII smiled when he saw the silver Epoch lift itself in the air once again. He would now get rid of both the vessel and the wizard. Ozzie closed his eyes and concentrated, again he drew his arms apart, then started moving them up, leaving a red blur in their path. When they met, there was a red flash and Ozzie was holding a bidimensional figure of some kind over his hands. It was made of two red rhombuses; each placed against the other forming a cross-like figure. Ozzie opened his eyes, both now strangely showing the gleam Magus had seen earlier. The attack was ready.
The Epoch suddenly sped off to time warp speed, to the desperation of Ozzie, but the instincts of the latter told him to turn around. The bright of the ship could be seen appearing from the other side of the planet. In a matter or milliseconds, Ozzie moved his arms back some grades, as if taking momentum, and impelled the symbol on his hands with all his force.
Both bodies moved so fast that they seemed to leave images of themselves on their trajectory. The symbol described a curve when in became close to the Epoch, matching its direction and speed, except it drew closer every time more. All the beings in the field felt something and lifted their gazes; the action seemed to be in slow motion. Atropos saw everything perfectly. The Epoch was meters from completing the world spin needed to travel in time, the symbol was centimeters from Epoch.
Atropos followed everything frame by frame. It was a race between the Epoch and the symbol: though the second had an outstanding speed higher than Epoch's, the ship didn't need to outrun its opponent to escape. The sensors analyzed every single movement with high speed as well. Atropos estimated the Epoch would achieve warp in no more than 0.35 seconds, but a quarter of a second was all the symbol needed to reach its target. As everything drew closer, the symbol was practically touching the Epoch when a bright flash of light blinded even the robot.
No bodies could be seen up in the air. Atropos couldn't confirm harmful contact to the Epoch. The Guardians cheered and Ozzie mumbled once again, but Lucca wasn't as sure. If the Epoch had disappeared out of the symbol's way, shouldn't the symbol have continued its trajectory undisturbed? They had BOTH disappeared at the same time. Lucca couldn't assure exactly what this meant, and she hated when that happened.
TeoHeckran and a group of mystics had circled around Frog, Lucca and Ayla, blocking them from Crono, Marle and Atropos whom still defended the castle gates from the incoming enemies. Ozzie would have to handle this himself. The mystic pointed his undamaged arms forward, creating a tunnel of wind. The boy, girl and robot were thrown against the doors that broke open and they disappeared inside. Most of the mystics around were threw inside as well or moved in. Ozzie followed floating as TeoHeckran drowned Ayla in a water cyclone.
The gunners and archers in the balcony started firing at the incoming invaders, as Crono, Marle and Atropos were sent up the stairs by the impressive gale. Both forces fought fiercely and basically cancelled each other out as the three-team tried to stand back up.
Ozzie entered. "My, what do we have here?" He said at the sight of the fierce battle just in front of the throne room. The guardians tried to form a circle around the mystics and didn't allow them get out at any cost. The three warriors stood impervious to them in the stairs, facing Ozzie.
"Your path of death ends here, Ozzie!" Crono said standing on the middle.
"Whoa! Where did you get the hero speech classes?" His face then became serious and menacing again. "My path of death has just started." His hand glowed with the eerie dark light as if to emphasize his point.
Marle took out her crossbow and pointed at Ozzie. A searing sound was heard and Ozzie's face was roughly turned to one side, spraying blood -in the loosest sense of the word blood-. Marle had not fired. On the corridor stood a soldier, holding the Sonic Arrow. Without speaking, he loaded another projectile and fired. Ozzie worked some kind of barrier that stopped the second shot from hurting him. But, the soldier wouldn't stop that easily. He charged towards the mystic intending to use the butt of his crossbow to hit him, like Marle had done some times at close range.
Ozzie still faced the three on the stairs. He didn't even seem to mind the soldier running to him. Crono started charging a lightning attack. When the soldier was a few feet short of him, Ozzie pointed his arm at the soldier. "Life Withering!" The soldier froze just in front of Ozzie's hand as an unseen black force went past him. The soldier's eyes opened completely in that instant and his skin became pale, gray, darkened in the edges. The soldier then fell to the ground, obviously deprived of any life. Ozzie didn't try to hide an inwardly smile.
Crono lost the concentration for the attack and Marle became enraged. "That wasn't necessary, you son of a..." Then she pronounced some words not princessly at all. After that, she cried "Life 2!" and a column of heavenly light descended along with three seraphs over the soldier's body. The magic vanished, but there was no effect. Marle was in shock.
"Ha! Did you think I would do something reversible? He's dead, gone, finished, done for, sayonara!" Ozzie laughed.
"What?" Marle and Crono turned to Ozzie in surprise, hate and also some fear. Atropos, on the other hand, tried all her healing techniques on the fallen fighter. Nothing could be done.
"Well," Ozzie said and cleared his throat, or something close. "I could TOY with you...!" The mystic fired a shower of ice chunks to the stairs and Crono and Marle were forced out of their shocks to jump out of the way along with Atropos.
They landed on the corridor opposite to the one the soldier had appeared in and did not give Ozzie a chance. Crono jumped over him and slashed continuously in a Confuse. Marle started an Ice spell, what caused Ozzie to quickly cast a barrier, but the barrier couldn't stop Atropos from charging into him with an Ice Tackle. The magic was guarded inside the body of the robot and only worked over him when she was already taking him on.
The mystic mage then charged with energy, opened his arms and sent a huge bolt of lightning towards Atropos before she could react. It caught her right on, shocking her for an instant before she was sent up spinning and landed hard on the floor, barely functioning.
Crono's response was levitating and charging lightning energy at its maximum under Ozzie, making six green lines appear there, the trademark of Luminaire. Unfortunately for Crono, this attack gave Ozzie more than enough time to cast a lightning barrier. Or maybe not so unfortunately, as Marle, out of Ozzie's sight until then, magically threw over him two icy masses of several tons each. And just as this stunned Ozzie, Crono unleashed the green dome of lightning over the mystic.
By now, Ozzie was visibly damaged. Not enough to lounge him close to death, but considerable damage. He spat blood-like ooze at the ground, cleaned his mouth with his arm and continued his phrase. "...or, since you assume that attitude, I can get straight to the point." Ozzie took that menacing look again. Just as Marle prepared to heal Atropos, Ozzie lifted his arm in a split-second and pointed it to the unaware princess. "Life Withering!"
Marle turned suddenly and froze as she could feel and almost see the assassin force coming to her. "Nooooooo!" She heard and turned around to see Crono dashing at her and pushing her out of the way just in time for the force to hit him. Marle opened her mouth, not being able to say anything as she fell down by Crono's tackle. In instants, Crono's skin withered as the soldier's, but his eyes clearly said "I love you Marle," before he fell to the ground, no life left on him.
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" Was heard in the entire palace and maybe all of Guardia as soon as Marle recovered her breath. Atropos, on the ground, in a semi-conscious state, had watched all of this. "So... is it love... to give more importance to the other than everything... even your own life...?" With that thought, she disconnected.
Ozzie VIII laughed in pure joy as Marle's scream of sorrow was heard. He had done it! He, Ozzie, had destroyed that kid that put an end to both the mystic menace and the great Lavos! He was invincible! He was the most powerful being over this Earth! He gave death and took life as easy as this! "Hahahaha!"
Then Ozzie's glee was interrupted. A bright light source made him turn around. There stood Marle, pure determination on her face, wearing her pendant. It emitted increasing light that blinded Ozzie immediately.
When Ozzie regained his sight, he saw Marle levitating over the ground. Still bright light from the center of her only allowed to see her head, part of her arms extended in a cross where two fingers were lifted in her hands and part of her legs and bare feet, her sandals or any clothing was nowhere to be seen as she was covered by the light. That light began to dim enabling Ozzie to see the rest of her.
Marle, still on the air, still determined, was dressed on a body suit of almost pure white, if it not were for the countless sparkles of silver than shone in different sizes everywhere. The pendant seemed to be embedded in the center of her chest, surrounded by a silver streak that went up and lined the top border of the cloth that went under Marle's armpits. Ozzie was amazed, but being a being of darkness, also scared for such a pure display.
And then, Marle moved her right arm, the index and middle fingers together pointing at Ozzie. That increased Ozzie's fear as well when Marle stared at him, but no hate or sadness could be seen in her eyes, just pure resolution. A voice was heard. Marle's voice, but nor her lips moved neither she gave any signal of talking.
The voice said "Light Beam!" clearly. In the instants that was pronounced, a spark of light built up in the tip of Marle's fingers, creating an array of light visual effects by the quickness of the event. Just after, from that spark a finger-wide ray of pure white luminosity shot towards the mystic.
Ozzie, still open-mouthed, didn't have a chance to move. He might have casted a barrier, but the light beam went unscathed. It caught him right in the chest. Hovering as he was, the beam impelled him backwards as if he were falling in that direction with an "Auuugh." But more importantly, he turned progressively but hastily, white. Not white like the pale on his victims, but glowing white as if he were turning into light. And just when Ozzie was pure light, dozens of crystalline red pieces scattered around, as if something had broken behind him, or inside him.
A water bubble burst on Frog, whom hated his own element being used against him. He retaliated, but his magic seemed to not to be comparable to TeoHeckran's. Just as Magus had noticed on Ozzie, this monster seemed to be overloaded with magic.
Lucca, on the other hand, wished that she had fought the original Heckran in person instead of allowing Crono, Marle and Robo do it and hear the comments. There was obviously a relationship, same appearance, same water-based attacks, and same vulnerability to magic and only to magic. On top of the problems, Ayla was with them and she wouldn't be of much use. Where did Magus go? That is, if he survived to go anywhere.
"Go ahead! Try and attack...!" The monster said and assumed a defensive stance. Ayla, an enraged battler as always, took the invitation. Lucca hadn't bothered to tell Ayla her attacks would be useless, but she wished she had done when she remembered another detail about the mystic beast.
"Ayla don't!" Lucca cried, but it was too late. Ayla nailed the monster with a Triple Kick.
"Water wave!!" TeoHeckran cried. A tidal wave fell on all three, disappearing after it took most of their energy. Lucca gasped for breath and faced the fiend. Then, the sound of glass breaking was heard, not something normal, it sounded ethereal and with an abnormal echo. The three fighters amazed when at the same time TeoHeckran started to waver as if he had been defeated, its matter, life force and everything that made him releasing.
They wouldn't be surprised at such display after seeing lots of so-called "bosses" disappear the same way. The surprise came from the fact they hadn't seemed to do a thing to cause the defeat of the monster, since he seemed in a perfectly good shape after their last attack. Even more striking was the fact every mystic still standing on the field fell and vanished to dust as if killed, but in a painfully slow way.
Only Ozzie's silhouette could be seen from any angle since he was pure light. That light started to vanish, to fade revealing nothing within. The being that once had been Ozzie VIII disappeared without leaving a trace as the beam of light stopped entering his chest. Marle began to descend to the ground and her suit became transparent, disappearing from sight just as the clothing she had before suffered the exact reverse process simultaneously, substituting the vanishing one.
The soldiers up the stairs snapped out of the trance it had been caused to them by being spectators of such an event. They looked around to see the dead monsters slowly dissipating into dust. One of them hastily opened the door to the throne and saw about the same scene of monsters inside. A bunch of mystics had entered someway, probably through the towers, and had not been for the unit inside, the king would have been attacked. This group inside seemed wore down. Had it not been for the event, whatever it might have been, that wiped all the monsters at once, the king wouldn't be calling his daughter in this moment.
But to his daughter, Nadia or Marle, none of this mattered. She lied down crouched next to Crono, taking his upper body in her arms. It was hard to realize he was finally dead; even though obvious signals like the lack of breath and his skin color, he still seemed so alive. Maybe it was because life had been taken so suddenly out of him. Or maybe it was that peaceful look he had on his face, almost smiling, caused by having died saving the woman he loved.
"Why, Crono?" Marle told him while caressing his red hair. "Why had this to happen to us? Didn't we do enough for our world to deserve happiness? There were still so many things I wanted to do with you, Crono." She sobbed. "We were going to get married, we were going to have children, we were going to rule this country together..." Marle didn't hold it longer and she closed her eyes and started crying helplessly.
"You really were going to marry me?" Marle opened her eyes in amazement.
Z: You've failed, Hades.
A: I told you they had already survived battles like those.
H: All right, I admit it. But we haven't lost anything. I have every bit of power I gave to that mystic.
A: Yes, but thanks to your stubbornness, we've had quite some nonsense battling over there.
H: It is quite ironic that YOU aren't fond of a little war, woman.
A: Woman... What a custom of the gods to call us like that. Is it pejoratively?
Z: Shut up! We shouldn't be discussing like that. It's her turn to act now.
H: Since when are you the leader?
Z: And why should we accept that you are it? You're acting not too much leader-like now.
H: I must also admit I am taken aback by my failure, but that stops now. And, I am the leader simply because the Entity has wanted that to be.
A: You had to bring out that topic. The Entity...
Z: You think it's impossible that we will triumph, don't you?
A: Not exactly now. I was thinking... we really shouldn't know about the Entity. We now know everything is its will, and then that our side couldn't win. No being should be allowed to have such knowledge, we have it and it isn't exactly helping us, but hindering the developement of our role in existence.
H: Stop talking like that you two! We can win. We still don't know if we will fail. It could be a tactic of the Entity, deluding us into thinking that our victory is impossible so we give up beforehand.
Z: That doesn't make much sense. You mean what happened with Lavos and the Weapons of the Planet? I don't think this is the case at all.
H: But anyway, we have to convince ourselves our victory is as much as possible as our defeat. We may have got more freedom than we've thought.
A: You seem to be forgetting what the Entity is and what us all are. It depends entirely in its choosing. The Entity would never make our side win!
H: It happened once.
A: And that was subsequently corrected. Those were special circumstances.
H: Circumstances that have repeated now. The side of evil, of problems, fiends and enemies that have to be overcome could win today. I think it happened somewhere else. Anyway, before you retaliate at that, I'll tell you also I have an ace under my sleeve: The Entity owes me one.
Z: WHAT? Have you completely gone nuts Hades? THAT is absolutely, completely, totally impossible and even you know it perfectly!
H: Okay, maybe I exaggerated the situation a bit. It isn't exactly at me, but at my essence, part of what I am made of. The point is, we're linked.
A: I don't think that will draw the balance to out favor. You're digressing, Hades, and are only confusing everyone. Anyway, this discussion is carrying us nowhere. I am not quitting or anything close and plan to ignore my knowledge of the Entity as much as possible. In fact, my plan is already into action.
Z: With the nightmares?
A: Not at all. The nightmares are influence of the Entity directly. It seems they will open the road to its goals. Wait and you'll see my own influence.
H: I guess this is the end of it. Put your best effort into it. Remember that no matter what the Entity had planned before, it now wants to try something different. Anything could happen. All right?
A & Z: All right.
Hello to everyone out there whom has stumbled upon reading my stories. This was a long chapter according to what I am accustomed to, but I think all my following chapters will be around this lenght. I hope I pleased the few demands I got for this. I tried to keep the battles short, asides from Magus and Ozzie's, which I enjoyed, and as you maybe noticed, this will be enough fighting for the time being.
I also hope this last part with the unknown characters and the Entity has not been too confusing. The Entity talking about in here is my own vision of what the Entity is and might not agree with Square or other people's meaning of it. If you think you have a good idea of who or what the Entity is, tell me, I'd like to hear your opinion.
Oh, I think I invented a word, "princessly". It's like princely, but means suitable for a princess. In case you noticed also there are two references to Nanaki's fanfic. The importance of this will be explained later. Yes, I asked him for it.
May the Legion of Fantasy fight forever!
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