Birthright Part 4
By Dave Church
Phil ran up to the castle, wondering what the heck was going on. Marle had told him and Lucca to meet her out here, ready to battle. But what was going through those girls' minds? He was dressed in full knight's armor, and had an axe as his choice weapon. Sure, a sword was the choice of most knights, but he was not like most knights. He stood near the door, and leaned on a tree near Lucca's house. He finally sat down after a while, and as he looked up at the sun, he noticed that it was near sundown. Where are they? he thought. Just as he was about to doze off, he saw the Princess running toward the house from a distance. He did a double take as he saw how she was dressed. She was wearing the same outfit that she was the other day(Writer's Note: Basically the same thing she wears in the game, but I'm not sure how to describe it), but over that, she was wearing a purplish vest with a cape. She had a crossbow in her hand, and some vials of liquid in a pack on her back. She was also wearing some sort of a bracelet.
He got up and went to meet her on the way. Marle(he didn't know why she prefered that name, but she did) noticed and and walked with him on the way. Phil just stared.
"Something wrong?" Marle asked. Her hair was in a ponytail.
"Uh. no," Phil said. "Where's Lucca?"
"Right behind you," Marle said. Phil jumped as he discovered that Lucca was behind him.
He was also stunned by what Lucca was wearing. It was the same vest and cape, with some strange headgear. She also had a gun and a holster on the right side of her waist.
"So what are we doing?" Lucca asked. "Rescuing Crono?"
"That was the only idea I had," Marle replied. "Besides, he could be in big trouble, and all on my account."
Lucca sighed. "You realize that we're going to have to keep a low profile, because if this gets out, we're all in trouble."
"That's what stopped me from suggesting it before, but I couldn't think of anything else." The trio started toward the castle. "So where is he now?" Marle asked.
"My guess is in the prison," Phil said. "That's where they were taking him when I left the castle. I managed to stay out of the view of Bane's cronies."
Lucca leaned toward Marle. "Does this sound familiar to anyone else?"
"Does what sound familiar?" Marle queried.
Lucca shook her head. "Never mind."
As the three of them came near the castle, they were unaware of a great struggle going on in the trial room....
Crono was amazed. The trial had every marking of a corrupt and rigged trial, but Bane had managed to dismiss every jurer that had shown a joule of support for Crono.The other ones were probably bribed, he thought. To top it all off, Pierre had left for family reasons and Crono was left to defend himself. Since the trial was too "minor" to delay, Crono thought.
Bane was done questioning the guards who were in the room, and Crono had noticed that neither of them had told the truth. They had said that Crono had been kissing Marle before he had snuck her out. and while Crono would have liked that to be true, he knew it was not. He had barely managed to sneak her out the window, let alone communicate his love.
Bane's voice interrupted the sequence of thoughts that went through Crono's mind.
"I now call to the stand, the accused, Crono Tinara." Bane stood like an imposing figure. Crono shook off that image and sat in the witness chair.
"Crono, if I may call you that," Bane said, pacing in spot, "You somehow managed to get the Princess out of the castle." Bane said this in a polite, inquiring tone that Crono could tell was fake. "Tell me, how did you accomplish this?" Bane asked him grinning.
"You want the whole story? Here it is." Crono took a deep breath. "I stole a knight's costume and convinced a knight to help me get into the Princess' room. He got a breakfast tray for me, to make it believable." The jury and Bane listened with an almost real interest.
"Go on," Bane said, looking genuinely interested.
Crono continued, "Once inside, I let her know I was there."
"How?" Bane asked.
"I tipped the visor on my head so that she could see my face," Crono said. "Then she knew it was me. I went over to the window, looked out, and when she looked outside, she could see the plan."
"And what was this plan?" Bane asked.
"I'd help her get out the window." Crono took a breath as he paused.
"The Princess' room is quite a ways off the ground," Bane said. "No one could survive that fall. You'd have to be able to fly to survive it."
Crono gulped. Does Bane know about Epoch?
Crono thought for a second, and then answered: "We had some people waiting for her at the bottom. We were quite prepared."
"You must have been to pull this off." Bane's voice had a touch of admiration. "But the guards claim they saw the two of you kissing. Are you lying?"
Crono saw an oppurtunity. "Your Honor," he said, looking at the judge, "May I ask His Majesty a question?"
The elderly judge was startled, but answered, "You are your own defense lawyer now, I can't see why not."
"You had guards around the room, correct?"
Bane was startled. "Yes."
"Well, how would I get in there for long enough to kiss the Princess if those guards were competent? I couldn't have gotten in there, and certainly not for long enough for me to do my plan, let alone have time for recreation." This drew a chuckle from the crowd. Crono returned to the witness' seat. "No further questions at this time, your Honor."
Bane was angered. "Have you and the Princess ever been.... close?"
Murmurs were said among the crowd. "No, your majesty. Besides, with that so-called birthright, it would have been against the law. Not to mention you would have been insanely jealous that the Princess wanted someone better than you."
Bane's nose flared, and he looked very angry. Crono was confident.
"Another statement like that from you, and you'll be doing jail time, Mr. Tinara," the judge told Crono.
"Thank you, your honor," said Bane, in a strained tone.
Crono shook his head and smiled. "Always have to get someone else to do your dirty work for you, don't you Bane?"
Bane turned and yelled, "Throw him out!"
Crono still smiled, even as the guards came in. "You didn't do it yourself. I knew you didn't have enough guts."
"TAKE HIM OUT OF MY SIGHT!!!!" said Bane, who was extremely rattled by this point. "The execution is tomorrow! The charge: Treason!"
"Order! Order!" The judge tried futily to restore peace to the courtroom. People were up and protesting at this point.
The guards(more of Bane's henchmen) hurriedly followed his command, not wanting any more of his wrath.
Crono was escorted to the prison cell as Bane attempted to calm down. The public had noticed this scene by Bane, and were whispering among themselves.
The angered king turned. "Dismissed!" he shouted.
The people filed out of the courtroom, as Crono was sent back to his prison cell.
Marle, Lucca and Phil were doing excellent time in the castle. They had managed to avoid most guards as they made their way down to the prison. Phil and Marle were in front, and Lucca was bringing up the rear. They headed down to the supervisor's room and tried to tiptoe past the sleeping supervisor. Phil tripped, and his armor clanked, waking the supervisor.
"Good one," said Lucca as the supervisor looked at the trio.
"Guards!" he yelled, and ran up the stairs.
Two exceptionally big guards(Phil hadn't seen them before, so he deduced that they were a couple of Bane's cronies) came into the room. Lucca and Marle drew their weapons, and the guards did the same. Phil did too, but he wondered what the heck he was supposed to do. He just decided to watch. One of the guards swung his sword at Phil, but he managed to get out of the way in time.
Lucca shot her gun at the left guard. He immediately fell to the floor. Marle clapped her hands together, dropped her bow, and floated, summoning an ice spell. The immense cube dropped on the other guard, making him dazed but not unconcious. Phil blinked in amazement.
Phil took the initiative, and went up to the guard and hit him with his axe, knocking the guard to the floor.
Lucca and Marle holstered their weapons. Phil put his axe back in his pack, and wondered about where the princess had learned magic. Probably another thing she "acquired" during their travels, he thought.
"They'll know we're here," Lucca said. "We have to hurry."
The trio descended into the depths of the prison....
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