Birthright Part 2

By Dave Church

Crono paced in spot. "Marle said she'd be here." He looked at the sun. It was about noon, and Crono and Lucca were just outside of Crono's house. There was a slight breeze, but for the most part it was warm."Where is she?"

"Maybe she got held up," Lucca shrugged. "Stranger things have happened."

Crono scratched his chin. "Maybe. But she usually isn't late unless-"

He was cut off as a bugle(an instrument that sounds like a trumpet, but would be more suited to these times) could be heard playing. It was from the castle.

"Here comes our answer," said Crono cynically. He and Lucca hurried over to the clearing as the bugle kept playing. As they got to the front of the castle, Bane was just finishing a part of his "speech". He was reading off of a scroll. Crono could hear whispers throughout the crowd. And some sobs.

"..And he requests that no memorial service be made for him. The body will be buried when his daughter, Princess Nadia, says. And, speaking of the princess, I have found an official betrothal paper in a locked chest with the king's will."

Bane held up a piece of paper, which Crono recognized as holy paper used for formal betrothals, and it could only be found in certain areas. Crono knew that whether or not Bane was putting on an act, the paper had to be real.

Bane looked at the paper. "It says, that by law of birthright, Princess Nadia Guardia will be proposed to...." Bane's eyes scanned the scroll. He looked up, in a state of shock. "Bane Hydel."Crono suspected that Hydel was Bane's last name. He heard the crowd talking, and he suspected most of them were suspicious. Or maybe I'm just paranoid...

Bane looked toward the crowd. "Anyone who has romantic feelings for myself or the Princess had better get them straight. Heretofore, anyone caught in a romantic encounter with myself or the Princess will be sentenced to execution pending trial. And the other party, whether it be Nadia or myself, will also be punished unless it was forced. In my power as king," What? Crono thought. King? I've missed a bit. Maybe I'm not paranoid.

"I hereby declare this to be law." Bane looked up. He smiled,

Crono decided to challenge the "king's" authority. He stepped forward, cupped his hands around the sides of his mouth and shouted, "If there was a betrothal from birth for the Princess, how come we did not hear of it before?" Mutters came from the crowd. They appeared curious about the question.

"Ah, it is you. The king probably kept it from Nadia to keep her happy." Bane smiled.

"A very admirable thing to do," replied Crono in the most sarcastic tone he could muster while remaining serious. A few people snickered. Bane's smile dissapeared, and he gave Crono a glare that could have melted twin suns. Now Crono smiled.

Bane turned serious. "Well, he did it, and we don't question the king. Dismissed!" A bugle played a sharp tone which signalled the dismissal.

Lucca walked up to Crono, hands on her hips. "Still think we should wait?"

"I've got all the proof I need. We should try to contact Marle." Crono turned toward Lucca. "I'd wager that the king is still alive. We could try and get to him too. We'll probably need a disguise, and Epoch. We'll need someone else to help, too. With one getting Epoch, and one sneaking inside, that's not good odds, considering Bane probably has several henchmen helping him do this. Maybe a knight could help..." Crono thought long and hard.

"How about me?" Lucca whirled to see a male knight standing behind her. He had blond hair, combed back, and a growing beard. His face was tanned, probably from training long and hard in the sun, Crono guessed. He's probably about 18, Crono thought.

"Who are you?" Lucca asked. The man looked at her.

"I'm Phillip, Phil for short. That guy was in prison a week ago," he said, pointing at Bane, who was heading in to the castle. "I was guarding him. I told the king that but he didn't believe me." He looked at Crono. "I can get you a set of armor, and get you past Bane's guards. Of course, if you'd rather ask someone else..."

"Hmm..." Crono said. He looked at Lucca. She nodded. "Sure. Get the armor and meet Lucca and I outside the castle tomorrow just after sunrise."

Phil started to walk. "I'll be there."


The next morning, Crono had just slipped on the knight suit just outside of the castle. Crono brought his sword, the "Rainbow", and several Elixirs. They were walking through the hall to Marle's room when they saw two very strong looking men at the door. Crono did not want to know how strong they were.

"What do I do?" Crono asked.

"Let me do the talking," Phil whispered to Crono. Crono was holding a tray with some food. It had ham, eggs, milk, and some utensils. Phil didn't seem to mind "acquiring" the breakfast.

Crono smiled at the men guarding the door. "Breakfast for the Princess!"

One of them replied dumbly, "Ok." He opened the door. The other one stopped Crono.

"How come there's two of you?" he asked.

"This guy wasn't sure where to go. I helped him get here." Phil quickly responded.

The other guard, convinced by the alibi, let Crono through. Phil tried to go too, but one of the guards stood in his way. "Only one of you," he said. "And just to be sure, I'll go in there too."

Uh oh, Phil thought. What to do, what to do..

Phil smiled at the one guard remaining with his hands behind his back. "Well, now that everything's ok, I must go now."

Phil walked down the hall while in view of the guard but took off as soon as he was out of sight. After nearly knocking over two handmaids, he ran out of the castle to join Lucca. Crono, with the guard following him into the room, had to improvise.....


Marle was depressed. Having not been let out of her room for two days due to running into Bane not too long ago, she was quite bored. She found no oppurtunities for escape, as her room was too far from ground level to go out the window. Besides, there was almost always a guard in the room with her. And they would have noticed her trying to go out the opening. Only the occasional knight passing through with a meal cheered her up. I wish those goons would let me have some privacy while I'm eating, she thought. The door to her room opened, revealing another knight, with one of Bane's cronies.

"Breakfast," said the knight. He sounded cheerful. And awfully familiar..., she thought. Then the knight handed her the tray, which contained The guard was behind the knight, so that he could not see what he was doing. The knight had long red hair, and a smile on his face. Crono! she thought. Her first instinct was to smile, but that would give Crono away. He wouldn't have been here just to cheer me up, would he..?

"Princess, there's something you should see before you start breakfast. Just out here." Crono got up and headed over to the window. The opening looks big enough..., he thought. Would it work?

Crono stuck his head out the window and motioned down. Marle looked and saw Epoch, with Lucca inside. She saw the two, and mouthed a come on. Crono told Lucca to bring Epoch a little closer to the height of the window, so it would be safe for Marle to go down. Crono, under his visor, looked at Marle and she nodded, knowing his idea. Crono got down on one knee to prop Marle up. Marle prepared to jump.

"What are you doing?" the henchman asked. Crono thought quickly.

"Uh, I think I see some moths here," he said. Just then, Marle held one foot off the ground. The guard stared at them, and suddenly realized what was happening. Crono put both hands under her feet and boosted her out the window. She landed awkwardly in

Epoch just before the guard reacted. The guard grabbed Crono. Crono stuck his elbow into the guard's stomach, darted away from the guard and drew his sword. The guard did the same, and drew his own sword. Crono backed toward the door, only to have it open and knock him over. He was out cold.

The guard that came in said, "I heard the disturbance. Where's the guy that caused it?

"You knocked him over," the other one replied. He looked down at the motionless form of Crono. "Bane's not going to like this...."

"Like what?" snapped Bane, who had just walked heard the entire conversation. "We'll just execute the one here."

"Don't you have to put him on trial first?" one guard asked. Bane turned toward him.

"You imbecile! I am king now! I can change that!" He pounded a fist on the table. Crono was just starting to come around. His visor was tilted so that he could see the three of them talking. Uh oh, Crono thought. He prepared to bolt up and run.

One of the guards came over to Crono and pulled the visor up. Crono closed his eyes and tried not to breathe. "Who is this guy?" the guard asked, reffering to Crono while looking at Bane.

Bane came over and kneeled down near Crono. He recognized the unmoving figure. He muttered a curse. "Damn. That's the hero who defeated that Lavos guy! The public will revolt if we execute him without any proof that he's commited an offense. We'll have to do the trial." Crono was running out of breath.

Crono couldn't take it anymore and exhaled. Bane felt the air, and was so suprised that he stood upright. Crono got up as the guards moved to each side of him. "Fancy meeting you here," he said dryly.

"Guards! Take him away!" Bane said. The guards grabbed Crono and took him to the dungeon. He looked at the sword Crono had left on the floor. It had a rainbow-like shine to it. He picked it up. He ran his finger down the blade. He then gripped it, and found that he liked it.

"Goodbye, Hero," he said. "And all of Guardia's realm with you!" Bane smiled. He could smell victory.

Crono was dragged to a jail cell to wait for a trial....


To be continued


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