The Thief and the Swordsfrog Chapter 15
By Silent Elegy
Master Flea! Sir Slash! One of the few Mystics still loyal to Slash and Flea charged into the library where Flea was attempting to use his scrying crystal to locate Mariel. He looked up in exasperation.
Oh, what is it?
Mariels been found!
Slash, who had been slouched down in a chair, half-dead with boredom, sat up straight. Well, thats good news. Where is she?
Storming the front gates!
What?! Flea exclaimed. He stood suddenly and knocked his chair over. A loud crash resonated through the castle, drowning out anything else he might have had to say.
What was that? Slash asked as it died down.
Probably the front door being knocked down, the Mystic answered. Flea cursed and teleported himself and Slash from the library to the main hall, where Frog, Rat, and Mariel waited.
Mariel, what is going on here? Flea demanded.
You will call me Magus, Mariel said coldly. Whats it look like, Flea? For charges of treason against the Mystics and conspiring with my enemies, you are to be put to death. Frog, on her right, and Rat, on her left, drew their weapons. Rat decided she liked the feel of the new daggers Archimhan had given her.
Is that right? Flea sneered. And what purpose will that serve? You know the Mystics will revolt.
Mariel laughed, a cold sound that caused even Slash and Flea to shudder, at least on the inside. Revolt? You fool, no they wont. General Archimhan goes even now to inform them of how you betrayed us.
The Mystic who had brought the message now entered the room. Flea glanced at it. You dont honestly think well just give up without a fight do you? Slash, take care of Sir Froggy. You, he nodded to the Mystic, handle the rodent. Ill take care of Mariel. He nodded to her and the two of them disappeared.
Frog had no time to worry about where Flea had taken Mariel because Slash was practically on top of him. He jumped into the air and came down with both feet on Slashs head. The swordsman staggered under the impact but didnt fall. He grinned maliciously and drew the Slasher.
Youre gonna hurt, Frogman, he sneered.
Frog shook his head. I have beaten thee four times in the four times we have fought. Art thou so certain thou canst break mine record?
Slash narrowed his eyes and charged forward. Flame surrounded his sword as he swept it toward Frog and yelled, Flamestrike! Frog caught the sword with Masamune, but the force still knocked him backwards. Ha! Slash yelled. Not so cocky now, are you?
Frog jumped to his feet and half-closed his eyes. He croaked and a bubble of water formed above his head, then shot toward Slash, hitting him full in the front and knocking him into the stairs behind him. Mayhap I should be asking thee that question, Sir Slush.
Thats Slash, you stupid amphibian! Slash charged forward again. The two men clashed swords in a display that would have made master fencers envious. It didnt last long, however; Slashs sword bit deeply into Frogs left arm. Frog cried out and dropped the Masamune.
Now, you die, you stupid frog, Slash said. He raised his sword. This is for Adreagon! He brought the Slasher down, intending to cleave Frog in two.
Frog jumped backward as Slashs sword bit through the air he had previously been occupying and jumped over his head. He retrieved his sword, but, being left handed, he was now at a disadvantage. He cast Water again, but Slash managed to dodge it this time.
Slash jabbed at Frog, who barely managed to counter. He pressed forward as he attacked until he had backed Frog into the wall. Now, you die, Slash amended his earlier statement. Again, he raised his sword above his head, then dropped it numbly behind him. He looked downward to see Masamune imbedded in his chest.
Nay, Slash, Frog said quietly. Now, thou wilt die. Slash attempted to say something, but the only sound he made was a wordless grunt. He fell to the ground; unlike the previous times they had fought, Slash didnt disappear after this battle. He was truly dead. Frog pulled the Masamune free and held it in front of his face in a kind of salute.
Rats opponent was a strange lizard-like creature. It was green and wore nothing but a leather loincloth. It had a long, thick tail, like any lizard or
She suddenly realized that the creature reminded her of a picture she had once seen of a monster called dinosaur, only much smaller. What are you? she asked.
Stupid mammal, it answered with a voice like gravel. Im a reptite.
Never heard a ya.
The creature snarled in anger and swiped its claws toward her face. She ducked and jabbed her daggers upward. They raked against its hide, causing no damage at all. Rat cursed and ran in the opposite direction. The reptite laughed and ran after her.
She led it in wild chase around Frog and Slash, up the stairs, back down the stairs and out the open door where she climbed a few feet up the wall. As the reptite exited the building, she jumped on top of it, futilely trying to stab it. Though her daggers were sharp, they were not strong enough to penetrate its hide. The reptite took the beating for several seconds, chuckling the whole time, before it grabbed Rat by the paws and slammed her into the ground.
Rats breath was knocked from her lungs. The world went black, and she saw stars, but her vision cleared just enough that she saw the reptites talon sweeping downward. She rolled to the side. The creature howled with pain as its hand encountered nothing except hard stone. It turned toward Rat and growled menacingly. Rat half-stood and shook her head in an attempt to clear her vision.
The reptite charged forward and hit Rat in the stomach, sending her to the ground again and causing her to lose her daggers. She gasped and looked up at its grinning face; for the first time in her life, she feared for her life. She closed her eyes and silently told Lenny shed see him soon.
When the expected blow didnt come, she opened her eyes again. A black mist engulfed the reptite. Its eyes bulged from its sockets as it gasped for air. Soon, it slumped to the ground and the mist dissipated. Doreen stood behind the creature, a look of supreme sadness in her eyes.
She looked at Rat. Master once told me to kill the reptites who stood against him, though he no longer remembers, she explained. You arent Master, but it would kill him if you died. And so, millions of years after he charged me, I keep my word. But it hurts me so. Doreen bowed her head and disappeared.
Mariel looked around at the to see that Flea had brought them into the void. The world around her was blue for the most part, and rippled nauseatingly. Although void was not the proper word, it was called that because there was nothing there. The void was where Lavos had called Crono, Frog, and Magus for their battle against its shell.
Well, Mariel, Flea said. We dont have to do this, you know? Agree to join me, and Ill let you live.
I would rather French kiss a frog, Mariel replied, belatedly realizing that she wouldnt mind French kissing a certain frog. She pushed that thought aside.
Im sure you would, Flea sneered. He raised his hand and shot a beam of light toward Mariel, who used her own magic to block it. Ill give you one last chance, he said. Join us again. You wanted to once.
You betrayed me, and for what? Mariel exclaimed. In the hopes that I would never be stronger than you? Well, guess what. All those times you thought I was indulging in laziness, most of those times you thought I was reading some sap love story, I was studying, practicing. You betrayed me; its time to pay.
Mariel swung her the scythe toward Fleas head, but he disappeared. She looked around wildly, but he was nowhere to be found.
Come out, come out wherever you are she sang softly. Suddenly, the energies in the void surged wildly, and she just managed to shield herself before an explosion engulfed her. It might have killed her if she hadnt gotten her shield up in time. Oh, there you are, she muttered; he had underestimated her, and now she could find him because of his magic attack.
Mariels hair blew around her as she gathered magic and focused it on a specific point where she knew Flea was hiding. She released it in a surge of raw energy and was rewarded by his cry of pain as he reappeared in front of her. Howd you do that? he demanded. Mariels only response was to smirk.
The black wind howled around her now, drawn by the energies of blood and darkness that was known as Shadow magic. Unlike her father, who had only heard the black wind and what it foretold, Mariel could use it. It swirled around her, almost visible, forming an impenetrable, magic-absorbing barrier.
Flea, who couldnt hear or feel the black wind at all, was unaware of this. He made a gesture with his hand and called his magic for the ultimate Fire attack, Flare. The air around Mariel superheated until it combusted; the resulting explosion rocketed outwards. Fleas smirk turned to an open-mouthed gaped as he saw Mariel, standing with her eyes closed as though nothing had happened. When she reopened them, they were glowing just as they had in George.
You cant touch me, she said, her voice like ice.
Flea staggered backward. Maybe we can make a deal, he said hopefully. Ill serve you faithfully. Anything you want.
Oh, dont worry. I wont kill you.
Flea blinked in confusion. You wont?
Mariel smiled slightly, but there was no warmth in it. Flea gasped and staggered as he suddenly felt his magic being sealed away from him. Oh, no. That would be too good. Never underestimate a woman scorned, Flea.
Mariel teleported back into the world, leaving Flea trapped in the timeless void.
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