Fanfiction: Scars of Time
Schala Zeal was alone.
The Princess bent over and gasped for breath. She had spent all the rest of her energy sending Crono’s friends, and the mysterious “Prophet,” out of the Ocean Palace. She barely had strength left to stand. There was no doubt: she was alone.
Alone with Lavos.
She shivered at this thought. Every muscle in her body was tense. She breathed heavily, wide-eyed and frightened, as she slowly turned to face the large creature she knew was waiting behind her.
Lavos was not small by any means. Its massive form was a half-round turtle shell in shape and adorned with wicked-looking spikes that drove fear into the hearts of those who saw them. The actual body lay completely hidden inside, again like a turtle. Only the unusual three-sectioned head and a few large reptilian feet came out along the bottom. Floating in the air by the head of the beast was Schala’s mother, Queen Zeal. Her crowned head was thrown back as she laughed uncontrollably, long purple hair falling off her shoulders to rest behind her robed back.
Unfortunately, Schala knew what would befall her in a few minutes. Lavos had been summoned, and Queen Zeal would soon make the Ocean Palace rise into the air, held high in the sky by the strong connection Queen Zeal and the beast had made with its evil magic. The Princess didn’t know what role she would play in this event, but she didn’t have high hopes for her survival.
She was almost relieved at this thought, sadly. Her life had suffered quite a downfall over the past few years. Ever since the Gurus had discovered the power emanating from deep below the planet’s surface and built the Mammon Machine by Zeal’s order to withdraw the “Great Lavos’” power, Queen Zeal’s mind had become ensnared into an obsession with Lavos.
The King had died some years earlier, only shortly before the Queen felt the power of Lavos through the Mammon Machine. Because of her state of grief, she was weak enough to succumb completely to her craving for power. Schala was given most of her mothers trust. The Princess alone had the key to unlocking more of the power Lavos had. Schala, of all people, had the greatest capacity to use magic in the entire kingdom, and therefore was exploited by the Queen.
However, Queen Zeal wasn’t counting on the fact that Schala also had the biggest heart in the kingdom.
Everything was so strange. Even now as she reflected on the past, her memories were hazy and her thoughts blurry. Her younger brother, Prince Janus, could always tell something was wrong with their mother. He always knew. He was always very in tune with the “Black Wind,” an inexplicable force that often led Janus and herself to conclusions that none other would’ve arrived at.
The black wind was a frequency of the magic seeping out of the earth that only these siblings, it seemed, could hear...well, to put it more accurately: feel. It whispered tales and myths of future events that were puzzling and hard to understand, but the magic was so natural and easy to follow that they could immediately understand the truths the black wind revealed. It basically helped them predict the future.
She didn’t like it, though. It filled her with dark feelings, and she tried ignoring it more often than not. Janus, being so young, was too intrigued by the idea of knowing what was to come, and always listened to what was carried on its whispy, invisible shoulders.
I wonder if the wind told Janus about all this, she thought sullenly. About Crono…
Crono…what a soul. He had sacrificed his life to save his friends, and Schala as well. That was an act she couldn’t imagine performing herself…what a thing to revere! Her chest swelled with awe and amazement as she remembered what Crono had done. What an incredible person to give so much for the sake of others. Maybe her similar kindness to others wasn’t a foolish waste of time like her mother claimed. Maybe it had always been worth it.
The Queen…Schala reverted back into her bitter state at the thought of her mother. She furrowed her eyebrows and frowned deeply. What have you done to us, mother? What have you done to everyone?
Then Lavos and Zeal disappeared in a flash of light. Everything was white and she threw her arms in front of her face, trying to block out the light, leaning away. She felt completely lost. I’m done for…Lavos is coming…
Unexpectantly, she was yanked out of existence and pulled into a dark abyss of nother and non-reality. All around her were blacks and colors lost from any other location or plausible existence. There was no order, there was no being, there was no control.
Hundreds of feet in the air, the Black Omen loomed above the surface. Schala was gone, transported into the Darkness Beyond Time by Lavos at that critical moment. Zeal reigned over the floating palace, completely transformed mentally by the black poison of Lavos’ influence. She never thought once of her daughter, or where she might have gone.
Nor did she think of her when Crono, whom she had presumed dead, stabbed her through at the top of the Black Omen.
Schala would’ve opened her eyes had she not forgotten how.
She could feel where she was. Or more accurately: what she had become. There were no answers, she didn’t understand.
She was scared; she wasn’t only scared, she was more then scared. How could so many emotions swirl and shock her at once, unchecked? What was happening to her? Inside her? Why wasn’t she dead? What state was she in?
She could feel so much..."blackness"…there was something very wrong with her. She was thinking thoughts that weren’t hers and feeling many emotions she had never felt before. Almost everything scared her.
After all, being absorbed by Lavos when you’re only 16 years old is no picnic.
Now she was angry. She had always been grateful for one thing, and that was the control she had over her thoughts and feelings. Now she was angry, because she could no longer think as she pleased. She was trapped.
All at once and out of nowhere, a young boy’s scream pierced her senses. She could hear it, feel the fear of a scared youth, see what frightened him.
Some boy, some where, in some time, was in trouble.
She scoffed at herself. What on earth are you doing caring about the well being of another person when you’re stuck inside Lavos! Shouldn’t you be thinking about how to get out before you think about helping others?
She knew the thought was both wise and foolish: there was not much point in being concerned about others when there was nothing she could do to help even herself. However, she knew there was no way she could escape her prison on her own.
Besides, she was never very good at ignoring the cry of those who needed help.
Curious, she wanted to know more about this boy. But how? She began to remember the moment of the scream, to bring back the memories of what she had felt, bring back the way the scream had changed her senses.
And then it was there again, the same screaming voice, the same fear.
The same panther charging toward the same purple-haired boy.
She took a closer look at the boy, a closer look at the heart that produced the fear she could feel…and was astonished. This child was so…pure. There was so much good and innocence inside…she couldn’t describe the joy she felt by simply looking inside his heart.
She knew then that there was something she really liked about this kid.
He was in danger. She looked harder, looked into his future, since in this place the Black Wind was as clear a picture as if it was happening right in front of her…and she gasped.
She had to help! She couldn’t let what would happen come to pass; it wasn’t right, it wasn’t fair!
But what could she do, caught as she was?
Maybe there is one thing…
With this new revelation came sadness. What she wanted to do would leave her at the full mercy of Lavos. She would lose the rest of the little control she had left. She began to doubt whether it was worth saving this boy’s future in exchange for her sanity…
Until she remembered Crono. Then her doubts fled.
She smiled inwardly, if she could. She decided to try something. Whether it would have any effect or not, she had already decided it was worth a try.
She split herself down the middle of her being, drawing all the good away from her trapped body and sending it in a bundle with her pendant, to a person she knew, in a time period not too far before this boy’s.
With the separation of her good and bad halves, her form changed drastically. Her dyed hair became its natural color of blond, and her thoughts became the same as Lavos’.
And then Schala and Lavos were no more. Two separate beings lost individuality, and a duet became a solo. Thus, the Time Devourer was born.
Lucca Ashtear was laughing as the small, purple R-66Y spun around enjoying itself under a tree nearby. The little bot had never been outside Lucca’s house before, and all this new environment was a rush of information that flooded the interpretative programs Lucca had installed in it. Hopefully it wouldn’t burst or shut down like the previous ones, she flinched.
When R-66Y hid behind another bush, she stole a glance into the sky. What a beautiful morning, she thought cheerfully. I should start taking walks through this forest every morning, with or without R-66Y.
Lucca yelped as something hard smacked into her shin, shooting pain up through her leg. She glanced down at the robot plopped on its bottom end, looking back and forth, lost, not knowing what had hit it.
She giggled, her body relaxing from her momentary alert mode. She hadn’t fought for a while. She didn’t want to, of course, but she wasn’t stupid enough to not expect the worst.
Especially because of what she was up to these days…
R-66Y was standing up now, beating its arms against its chest, much like the way the robot it was modeled after used to do. Lucca remembered with a sigh that wonderful machine. He was still the most influential person in her life. She could still remember the pride she felt when Robo told her that he felt the emotions of sadness and happiness because of her.
Her greatest accomplishment still, even after everything she’d been working on recently.
A buzz floated in the air then, a low-pitched hum that filled her ears. She looked about, trying to find the source. Birds burst from the trees and flew off in flocks. All other sounds became overwhelmed by this growing noise. What is that?…
Strangely enough, a light was emanating from a short distance off. Behind a bush sitting next to a tree shot out a purple glow that shrank and grew with the frequency of the humming. A strange feeling was coming from this light, yet Lucca approached it. Step by step the buzzing became louder and the noise became nearly unbearable. Yet she persisted. Something was pushing her; there was something inside her telling her to go to the source of this phenomenon.
The light faded as she finally reached the bush and peered over. Against the base of the tree, the light was glowing around an astonishing sight that drew a slight gasp from Lucca’s lips.
It was a baby, wrapped delicately in a white blanket.
Lucca’s eyes shot wide open and she froze. A baby? Where did it come from? Why was the light…?
She observed the infant closer. All that was visible of the baby’s body was the face, cute as a button, and the light blond hair peeking out from under the blanket. And around the neck of the child, as big as the baby who carried it, was a necklace holding a large blue pendant.
The light disappeared from around the child, the noise humming through the air was gone, and the following silence was shattered by the sharp crying of the baby. It tried moving inside the blanket, but couldn’t shift very much from the tightness of it.
Lucca stood and stepped around the bush, standing directly above the infant. She had an unusual feeling; reasons, and answers to "why" questions, entered her mind. This child was definitely special, no doubt about that. It was born here, now, in this way, for a purpose. It had to be protected from the trouble that may...no, would...come for it, since it had a mission that none other could perform. Its purpose was superstantial to mankind's survival, somehow.
And Lucca knew then that she would make sure that this baby girl's purpose would be fulfilled.
Gently, she knelt down beside the child, leaned over to wrap her arms around it, and brought it to her bosom. The infant was still squirming as she lifted it to her face, but once she began cooing it softly, the baby began slowing down. The crying simmered and stopped, its eyes slid closed and it fell asleep.
Lucca smiled. This was an interesting turn of events in her life. She’d never even considered a family future, marrying a man or raising children. She had lost all thought of that since the day her mom was almost injured by her father’s machine when she was very young. Science truly had taken over her life, her feelings, her way of thinking. She had never felt the desire to be a mom or start a family of her own.
And here she stood now, with a child of her own…sort of.
This time she was prepared for the impact when the little bot tramped into her calf. She looked down at it and smiled as it played out its act of being lost and confused once again.
“Come on, R-66Y, let’s go home. We have a new member of our family, now.”
And so it was that Kid entered the life of Lucca Ashtear, four years after Crono, Marle and Lucca settled down from their amazing adventure.
Prince Crono sighed.
It was a slow day. The days had been slow for a while, now. He was sick of having nothing to do, and currently was sitting on the roof of the castle. He stared out to the north toward the mountain range, which he realized he’d never visited in his life. Beautiful mountains, though. Birds flew by up above, sending their cries. The sky was clear and deep blue. At least the weather had been friendly for a few weeks. The last winter had been bitter cold and unfriendly. It was nice to feel good a cool breeze blow through his clothes and ruffle his long, spiky red hair.
Children’s laughter rose from below. Crono looked straight down into the courtyard directly north of the castle. This courtyard was specially built onto the castle grounds after the King learned of Marle’s pregnancy merely months after their wedding five years ago.
5 years, he thought, grinning widely. 5 years of bliss.
He always thought he would marry Marle from the moment he met her. He wasn’t expecting to master time traveling in the process. He loved her, though. He did from the beginning. It was most of the motivation that led him to stand in front of Lavos way back in the Dark Ages and attempt to save them all. He truly was willing to die for her, then and now.
And it would be worth it, he thought, watching his beautiful wife chase the twins under the watchful eyes of the guards in silver and blue armor scattered around the outskirts of the courtyard. She had only become more gorgeous with the years, becoming mature and growing into an adult woman.
After all, they had only been as young as 15 years old when they saved the world and got married, he thought smiling.
The twins were not easy for Marle to catch. She would close in on one and then the other would zip by, throwing her attention for mere seconds, time enough for the first child to get away, and she’d be forced to pick a kid and start over. She was a good sport, though.
Crono looked at his young son run, a bush of purple hair dancing wildly as he ran. That boy was so much like him it was scary. From the beginning, he was learning how to do things faster than Crono could’ve imagined. From learning to whistle to doing a standing backflip, it was amazing what his four-year-old son could do. Maybe it’s the effect of the magic in our blood, he thought. He always wondered if their extensive use of magic during the fight against Lavos might have had some significant effect on their bodies…however, it was all speculation.
Besides, there was nothing wrong with thinking his boy was simply amazing.
He sighed again. He was bored. He’d had little to do for days. The king had taken back the responsibilities of the kingdom, insisting that young prince Crono take a few years off. The last thing Crono had done involving outer countries was to establish major trade between Guardia and Porre, a large kingdom that had been a small town not 5 years ago. He felt as if he had done practically nothing for the kingdom.
He needed something to do…desperately. He was getting lost in his random thoughts again.
A cloud slowly passed overhead, blocking the sun for a few moments. Crono glanced up and shivered as a slight chill passed over him, a chill that felt like more than the breeze cooling his skin. A dark feeling filled him, and fear whispered in his mind. He shook his head, frowning. What is that? After the sun reappeared, the chill passed and the fear emptied away. Shrugging his shoulders, he went back to his musing.
Crono looked over the forest out into the far distance. He could barely see the outline of Luccas house. Even from this distance he noticed some activity. He could just imagine Lucca and Kid running around, playing with another of Luccas crazy inventions.
Kid. He became lost in his thoughts again. Kid…was interesting. Nobody knew where she came from, not even Lucca. At least not that she let on. Lucca didn't say much on the origin of Kid. Whenever Crono would ask, she would smile and tell him it was none of his business with a playful wink. Lucca told Crono that she thought Kid had an uncanny resemblance to Schala Zeal. She really does, doesn’t she…
He glanced down into the courtyard and saw Marle smiling up at him. "Come down, Glenn wants to show you something!"
Crono smiled. Glenn always had some new trick to show his father. They were always simple things, like being able to snap his fingers or whistle, but watching his boy grow was a joy beyond measure, especially with that look of eagerness on his face when he expressed his desire to show his daddy.
Crono pushed aside his thoughts from earlier and quickly jumped from rooftop to rooftop of the spires stretching up toward the sky. He gracefully landed next to Marle, who smiled, took his arm and pulled him impatiently. "Quick, he’s been nagging me all morning!" He chuckled in response to her exaggeration.
Glenn turned around as he heard the footsteps of his parents and grinned gleefully, catching sight of his father. He rushed over to him yelling, "Dad, dad! Look what I can do!"
Crono ruffled his young son’s loose purple hair. "Alright, what have you got for me now?"
"Aw man you won’t believe it! It’s the coolest trick ever! It’s better than anything I’ve done before!" Crono sat himself down next to his wife as Glenn babbled on.
When Glenn was finally finished talking, he stood still, slightly bent at the waist, his arms held out from his sides in a 90-degree angle. "OK, you ready?"
Crono laughed as he waved for his son to go on.
Glenn flashed a quick grin. He then relaxed his arms at his sides, stood up straight and looked down, eyes closed, a serious expression on his face. Crono looked at him for a while. What was he doing? He was just standing there. He sat and waited patiently as his son finally lifted up his arms into the air. A swift breeze blew past them, ruffling their hair and clothing.
Crono and Marle stole a quick, nervous glance at each other as the breeze around them stopped, and they felt a surge of power shoot out from the boy. They felt the power wash over them like a wave. Glenn raised his head, his mouth wide open and screaming with rage. His eyes snapped open and shone bright green. In a split second of recollection, Crono saw himself five years ago, raising his arms in the air, green glowing in his eyes, body floating above the ground. Shock and fear swept through him as he immediately recognized what was happening.
With urgency, they barely managed to raise their magic barriers before Glenn rose in the air and beams of green energy grew out from him in every direction. About five feet in the air, Glenn stopped rising and the beams ceased as the power formed a solid green dome-shaped barrier around him. The magic shot out from the barrier and shook the area within a 100-yard radius from Glenn with immense energy. It became extremely bright and Crono had to cover his eyes to protect them from being blinded. The ground was taking the worst of it. Chunks of earth and grass shot out of the ground. Flowers and weeds were tossed around like paper. Stone and granite shifted and cracked under the tremendous pressure from the power.
Finally, the dome barrier opened at the top. The opening grew straight down along the sides until it reached the ground and the barrier was gone. The bright light faded out and Glenn slowly lowered toward the ground, the green gone from his eyes. He softly placed his feet on the ground, lowered his arms and looked at his parents with a huge grin on his face.
Crono stood breathing heavily as he lowered his barrier. He looked at Marle, relieved to see that she had raised her protection in time as well. They exchanged looks of shock as they both knew what their son had just performed.
"Well, what do you think?!"
They could only gawk at their delighted son. They could never have been prepared for what just happened.
The grin grew. He had impressed his parents. It was a rare accomplishment for him, and he was quite proud. His dad would always give him approval whenever Glenn showed him something, but he could tell when his dad was impressed. He was a little confused, though, as to why his parents kept staring at him like that. "Umm, mom? Dad? Are you ok?"
Crono caught himself gawking and straightened up. "Glenn, do you know what you just did?!" He looked sharply at his son to let him know he was being serious.
The large grin slowly fell off Glenn’s face as he looked at the disheveled and destroyed ground around him. "Oh…oops…I didn’t mean to…"
Crono shook his head. "No no, forget that." He aimed a piercing look of seriousness at his son. "Glenn, you just performed Luminaire."
Glenn wasn’t quite sure what his father meant, but he interpreted the message to mean that he was in trouble. He kept silent, slightly upset, expecting more lecturing comments.
Marle regained her motherly composure and looked sternly at her son. "Glenn, Luminaire is the single most powerful, and might I add most destructive” she said with a glance at the ground “magic spell that exists. It is the very spell that destroyed Lavos. Do you know how dangerous that is?!?!"
Glenn wasn’t sure if he should be proud or ashamed, staring at the ground. He looked like a child caught stealing a cookie.
Crono once again took a look of astonishment. "It took me forever to learn that spell…how did you learn it at four years old!?"
Marle looked disapprovingly at Crono. Don’t encourage this, her eyes said sternly. She kneeled down next to Glenn and asked him, "Is this the only spell you can cast? Are there any other ‘tricks’ you can do that you haven’t told us about?”
Glenn couldn’t keep it in with the way his mother’s gaze pierced him so. He finally burst out: "It wasn’t my fault! Schala got me mad on purpose and I cast that spell by accident!"
Marle was a little worried but she didn’t show it. Much. "Was anyone else around you when you first cast it?"
It took a little more coaxing before Glenn gave his next answer: "Well, our guard Max was there. I didn’t mean to hurt him…he just kinda jumped on me…he leaped really far back when he touched me. He wasn’t moving after the light went away. Schala yelled at me to be more careful…stupid little creep…uh, I mean…well, she went over to him, and she said he wasn’t breathing. She told me I killed him. Stupid liar, she just tried to get me mad again. I mean, after Schala leaned over him and said something, he got right back up and said he felt perfectly fine. He asked me if I was ok….mom are you listening?"
Marle had a shocked look on her face. There was no hiding her feelings now. How can this be? She thought. Can Schala really perform Life?
Marle looked over at Crono to see the same worried expression on his face. The message passed between them like telepathy.
Our kids have our powers.
Marle turned once again to a baffled-looking Glenn. "Listen," she said, "Why don’t you go inside and tell grandpa I said he needs to ask for dinner to be ready in an hour. Can you do that for me?"
Glenn smiled crookedly. He ran off into the castle and disappeared inside the large doorway.
Marle and Crono passed one more glance before she went off to find Schala. Crono could only mull over what had happened. Oh well, he thought, I could go for some good food after that. He turned and followed where Glenn had disappeared.
The food was good, as always. It wasn’t just because it was named after him, either. After dinner, he waved goodbye to his family as they headed toward Guardia Forest with his mom’s home as their destination. She had invited them to stay with her that weekend, including Crono, but King Guardia had some business with Crono the following morning that couldn’t be delayed. He had promised he would catch up with them in a day or two.
As they disappeared into the forest, he turned inside and spent the rest of the day contemplating the incredible, inexplicable events of that day. He had a nasty feeling he couldn’t shake, but went to sleep nonetheless.
When he opened his eyes, the first thing he could see was smoke; thick, black smoke. It choked and stung his throat. He scrambled out of bed, bent down to the floor and saw smoke seeping in from the hallway outside his bed chambers. Still bent low, he stepped out as fast as he could.
He ran down the dark hall, the fire crackling everywhere around him. Everything was a haze. He became slightly dizzy and nearly stumbled. The end of the hall appeared finally, and he faced the door that stood to the left of him. He thrust the door open and jogged toward the stairs, skipping three at a time, four sometimes, passing empty chambers engulfed in flame and smoke on the left, until he landed at the bottom with an unexpected crash. His head smacked hard and stars cut through his vision as he fell to the floor with a throbbing head. He wasn’t willing to move, so unsure, so confused.
He finally pushed himself enough to at least sit up. He looked out of the tower he had just descended from. He couldn’t even see the light from the main chamber because of the thickness of the smoke. He gathered up some courage, worked himself up to stand on his feet, and ran right into the smoke. Surprisingly it cleared away as he approached the center of the room.
Confusion and worry became horror as he looked around the chamber and saw destruction everywhere. Banners curled in burnt blackness, the throne was covered in soot and ash, and in the main doorway stood…
Crono choked, more on disbelief than smoke. There stood a man he had thought to be long dead, holding the legendary Masamune that had been stored in the secret chambers along with the Rainbow Shell and other sacred possessions.
Finally able to speak, he spit out: “Dalton.”
The man in the orange cape sneered in recognition. “Crono. You’re the fool who killed himself pointlessly, the fool the ‘Prophet’ warned the Queen about.” He didn’t look any different than Crono remembered, standing there with his long, light brown hair, bright orange cloack, blue slacks and an eyepatch over his right eye, but he looked rather scary holding that sword. There was something different about it being held in his hands…
Crono's teeth were gritted. “What are you doing here? How did you get here?”
Dalton sighed and shifted his weight onto the Masamune, pointed down into the floor. He looked sillier than he meant to, but that was his nature. “After your stupid girlfriend and her friends tricked me into being sucked into the void left behind by my defeated Golem, I discovered the void wasn’t a void so much as a gateway, as you could call it, to another location. I appeared in the middle of an area to the west of here, a place completely encased by trees (without snow on them, either) surrounded by rubble. I was very shocked to see so much green everywhere, and didn’t know what to think about the temperature being so high. Well you can imagine how confused I was, but really I was just happy to be alive. I saw this castle from the distance, and realized I was somewhere completely different. Or, the thought dawned on me, maybe a completely different time.”
He picked up the sword and stepped to his right, pacing as if there was nothing amiss, as if fire and smoke that he caused wasn’t staring him in the face from all directions. “I saw the little village nearby and thought ‘Aw, how quaint!’ Taking after that no-good Prophet, I pulled my hood up and wandered around, asking questions wherever there were people who would see me, dressed rather strangely, and think little of it.
“I really did wander, even crossed over to the continent on the east. You’ll never guess who I saw there! Damned Melchior, hiding behind his weapons while I merely asked a simple question. He threatened me so. I said that all I wanted to know was where I had wound up. He said that I would never find out anything until I started asking the 'right questions.' So I asked what the 'right questions' were. He said that my location hadn't really changed, but my time had. I said 'Ok, so when are we?' He said we were around 13,000 years in the future. I asked him how he knew that. At that point he REALLY got feisty and threatened to get Crono and the 'Legendary Masamune' to take me out. I must say, the most foolish thing he ever did. To let slip about you and this precious sword, I mean. It was fun to watch his little house burn, though.”
He cackled his rather annoying laugh, but this time it sent chills down Cronos spine. He was so much scarier looking holding that sword, for whatever reason. Even the sword looked scary, completely different than he remembered, actually. Instead of its normal noble silver look, it had become a wicked-looking flame.
Crono scowled. “What did you do to the Masamune?”
Dalton scoffed. “Oh, don’t tell me you didn’t know? Even I knew about these three little pests before Melchior decided to melt them into a sword. It was supposed to take the shape of the hopes and dreams and other rubbish of the wielder.” An evil grin split his face. “Well, apparently I’m as heartless as they say, ‘cuz this blade sure is bitchin’!”
With that, his grin became a snarl and he leapt from his spot and sped toward Crono, the red blade trailing behind.
Crono barely had enough time to bring the Rainbow up to block the swipe of the Masamune. Barely enough so that the sword was still partly in the sheath.
Their faces so close they could mist each others eyes with their breath, Crono gritted his teeth with the effort it took to hold him back, while Dalton began grinning wildly. His eyes danced with flames that mirrored the room, it seemed.
Trying to break away, Crono suddenly shoved out with his sword while jumping away to get clearance. Dalton obviously didn’t expect this and lost his balance, while Crono swung his sword and charged toward a toppling Dalton. Before he could strike, Dalton stuck the end of his blade into the floor and pivoted over it. The colored blade swung at empty air as the red flame shot up from the floor and thrust forward. Crono was lucky to jump out of the way just in time, and stumbled backwards, desperately seeking footing.
Dalton straightened, brought the Masamune out to his side and charged again. Blades flashed as Rainbow hit deformed legend, back and forth, up and down. Each attempted to trick the other with feints to the left and right, with sudden swipes and attempted jabs that always found air instead of its target.
With fear, Crono was slowly recognizing his eventual failure. Dalton was simply a better swordsman, and Crono was very much out of shape. Crono knew, however, that he was superior with magic.
In a desperate attempt to turn the tables, he broke away and ran, turning after a few paces to send a bolt of Lightning into Dalton’s skull. The recipient merely budged his head an inch to avoid the impact, grinned even wider, lifted his open palm and filled the room with poisonous air.
Crono gasped for breath, choking in an exaggerated manner, stumbling toward Dalton. Without warning, he brought the Rainbow up to take a slice out of Daltons middle, but he was already moving, backing away while raising his palm yet again. This time a ball of gravity appearing black in color floated towards him, growing with each inch it traveled. Crono had been careless with his upward swipe and was temporarily unbalanced. The ball had plenty of time to make contact, and it attached itself to Crono, forcing him into the floor with crushing power. His breath was squeezed out of him and smoke tendrils filled his nostrils. Tears leaked from his eyes and pain screamed at him from his chest. Burning! Burning!
Getting a grip on himself, he brought up his magic barrier and thrust the ball of gravity off of him, which dissipated once contact was broken. Bruised and burning, he slowly climbed to his feet, regaining a full stance...right as the Masamune blurred through his torso in an upward swing. This sent Crono flying, falling away from his streaming blood, and the long, but luckily not too deep cut immediately burned worse than any injury he’d ever received.
With a loud thud, he crashed onto the floor and became completely still. He even stopped breathing. He wasn’t willing to give up and die, but he was discovering with each passing moment that his skills had almost completely diminished over wasted time. He remained frozen, mind racing, trying to think of what to do. He couldn’t think of anything, the cut across his torso was screaming louder than his thoughts, and the castle was still burning.
He heard a snort, followed by footsteps as Dalton walked out through the front gateway. Thank the Light, he thinks I'm dead! Crono waited for a few minutes listening intently just in case his attacker came back, though he couldn’t hear much over the crackle of fire and the breaking of weak furniture.
With a crash, a beam swallowed by flames fell from the ceiling and landed inches from his face. Fear threw his heart into his throat and he shot off the floor faster than he thought possible. The fire splashed from the beam to the carpet he was on and started to spread.
He looked around. There was nothing left to concern himself with as far as the castle was concerned. His only thought now was his family.
Clutching his front, he sheathed the Rainbow and ran through the gateway and out the front entrance into the dark night sky. Not wanting to risk an unexpected ambush, he sprinted even faster on exiting, racing toward the woods faster than his legs wanted to move, air filling and exiting his lungs faster than it wanted to pump, still trying to get smoke out of his system. But he never slowed. He needed to get them away, far away.
It was in that night that Guardia Castle fell to the one-man army. Every soldier, servant, maid, cook, even the King, everyone inside had been killed and left to burn inside the flaming tomb. Truce was spared for whatever reason, and the criminal was never found.
Soldiers from Porre later searched the remains of Guardia Castle. The only people not accounted for were the prince, princess, and their twins, and they were nowhere to be found in Truce.
This is an end, but not the end. Stories can end before they begin, or never end. It all depends on if they’re told, and who tells them.