Robin looked up from his tome in awe. Could this man, standing here in front of them, really be Marth, the Hero-King of legend? There was really only one way to figure it out for sure.
"Marth, if it is really you, and Chrom, both of you, hold out your swords." They did as he said, and the two held out their swords, the tips clinking together as they gleamed in the sun. Robin looked closely at the two swords. They were identical, except for slightly more wear on Chrom's. They were definitely the same sword, there was no mistaking it. "It is the same sword… he really is the Hero-King", Robin finished.
"In the flesh," Marth responded. "I am the Hero-King, at your service."
"At ours? Why exactly have you come?" Chrom asked, lowering his sword.
"I was about to ask the same thing," Ness said, who was standing just behind and to the left of Chrom.
"I believe you all could use my help. Without me, that group of soldiers would have been much harder for you to defeat." As he finished the sentence, he smiled.
"He does have a point," Paula said. "It definitely would have taken us a while longer."
"Exactly," Marth said in response. "Now, where are we off to?" Ness explained his teleport to Marth.
"We need to go there, but leave her-" Ness pointed at Anja, "-somewhere safe, here in Onett. I plan to leave one of us Eagleland natives here with her. Do I have any volunteers?"
"I'll stay with her," Jeff volunteered. I'm the only one without PSI, after all."
"Then it's done. Jeff, take her to my house, and stay with her. We will come back for you after we've defeated whoever we need to." With that, Jeff took Anja up the road, to Ness's house, as Ness and Paula prepared to warp the group back to Calagua. Ness put his fingertips to his head and focused, and Paula did the same. The group began to feel light, then warped back to the tree-dotted field outside Calagua Castle. Marth looked around, then saw the castle.
"That must be the castle," Marth said, looking up at the imposing stone structure. "There must be a door somewhere that can take us inside." He led the group up the the fortress, and the group spread out, looking for a door. Lucina spoke up.
"Here! I found a door!" She said. "But I can't get- it- open! Rgh!" She gave the door handle a massive heave, but her hands flew off the door and she landed on her back. "That didn't go over so well..."
"Here. Let me try." Ness stood in front of the door, and concentrated a PSI Flash on the door lock. The power of his PSI clicked the lock open, and the group followed Ness inside.
"All right," Robin said. "We need to find the emperor, whatever his name is. The one with the eternal rule over Calagua." The first thing, perhaps, is to take out the various guards throughout this fortress. Everyone got it? Let's go!" With that, the group followed Ness, Marth, and Robin through the fortress.
"Gaurds. Let me handle this one," Marth said, as he peered around the corner to see a guard facing the opposite way. Marth held his sword parallel to the ground, then thrust it forward at the speed of light, piercing completely through the guard's body. Marth slid his sword out of the guard, and he slid to the ground, dead. A scream from another guard, then an alarm.
"We won't be able to fight in a cramped corridor like this," Paula said. "We need to get into that room where the guard was. We'll be able to fight in there." With her words, the party followed Paula into the large room where the guard was.
"Everyone, keep a watch on the doors," Chrom commanded. As he spoke, guards started to stream in through the doors. "The battle's here! Get ready, they won't go down easily!" PSI sparked from Ness, Paula, and Poo's heads as they readied their PSI powers. Chrom, Lucina, and Lon'qu drew their swords, Morgan, Nowi, and Nah transformed into dragons, and Robin drew his tomes. "Ready!" Ness, Paula, and Poo threw out PSI, and Chrom engaged in a swordfight with a hgih-ranked quard before throwing him down the an overhand strike. Nowi unleashed a blast of dragonic energy on a group of soldiers, and Nah and Morgan followed up, scorching the group of soldiers and making them run back where they came. One by one, the soldiers were driven back, either by Lucina or Chrom's sword skills, Robin's magic, Morgan, Nowi, or Nah's dragonic attacks, or Poo, Paula, or Ness's PSI skills. Eventually, the last of the guards were gone. The floor of the hall was slicked with blood, and the group had to watch where they were stepping as the made their way to a large door. There were several locks on the door, and as Ness tried a PSI Flash on the lock, it didn't even budge. He tilted his head quizically.
"If only we had a way to open the door..." he said, a puzzled look on his face. Perhaps we need to search this place for a key.
"Agh!" A cry came from behind them. Ness turned around and saw Chrom on the ground, gripping his shoulder. "We need someone to heal him, and quick!"
"Don't worry. Healing is my specialty," Lissa said, and raised her staff, coating Chrom in a shining light. The wound on his shoulder sealed itself up, and Chrom stood up, shaking himself off.
"Now that that's over with… we need a key, right?" he asked.
"Yes," Marth replied. "But we have no idea where this key is, and besides, we need multiple keys. There are four locks on the door. We would, technically, need four different keys. And if we have enough trouble finding one, where would we find-"
"Here you go!" Lucina said, handing Marth a key ring with five keys on it. "These look like the keys you would need to open the doors, but if we are going to find the Empress in there, we are going to need Anja and her notebook."
"Then, in that case, the rest of you wait here. I'm going to warp myself to Onett and bring them back." As he finished speaking, Ness closed his eyes, and with a flash of PSI energy, was gone. One by one, the group sat down. Lucina drew circles in the blood on the floor half-heartedly, and everyone else sat in silence. After what seemed like hours, there was a pale flash of light, and Ness returned, Anja next to him. "We're back. Now to unlock that door!" Ness said, and the rest of the group stood up. He clicked keys into the locks, and after all four had been unlocked, the door slowly started to open. Ness walked inside, and instantly felt weak. As the group filed in, Lucina, Chrom, Nowi, and Nah immediately dropped to the floor, unconscious. Paula felt it hard to breathe, as did Poo. Marth could barely keep his eyes awake, yet Robin felt almost no pain, and Anja felt normal. Robin looked up to see a yellow-robed figure, a young man, perhaps in his late teens, with his eyes closed. Written on nothing, ancient magical writing in a long-forgotten language swirled around him. As Anja eyed the walls closer, she could see magical writing on them in a language she couldn't comprehend.
"The magical energy..." Paula stuttered, gasping for air. "It's… so powerful..."
"Welcome." The person spoke, still with his eyes closed. "My name is Elcana, emperor of Calagua. I don't wish to harm you, but rather to understand why you have came."
"You're the emperor that is causing pain to all people of this country!" Robin said, gripping one of his tomes.
"Calm down," Elcana said. "I have no wish to harm these people. I'm not the one doing it, but there's something I'm missing to stop the people who are."
"So you're not some evil freak, bent on genocide?" Robin asked, quizzically. Elcana laughed.
"Of course not. I see I have some explaining to do." As he finished speaking, he sat up and opened his eyes, looking straight at Robin. "Several years ago, I was a friendless child. I didn't have many talents, and I had no one to talk to. Then, I met this girl. I liked her, I liked her a lot. But, she didn't seem to see it. She ignored me, so I tried to do whatever I could to get her to like me. I tried to fight, but someone would always beat me. I tried to solve the world's mysteries, but always failed. Then I found some old magical tomes in my father's basement. They fascinated me, so I studied them as much as I could. I got good at magic, and I thought that if I could become good enough at it, maybe she would love me. I spent months researching magic, the more forbidden and powerful, the better. One day, I found a book that contained a spell so powerful I was sure it would get her to love me. It was called the Forbidden Flames, a fire spell capable of ending the world as we know it and turning it into a hell on earth. I took the spell, and showed it to her, and told her I could use it. It did the opposite of what I thought it would- it scared her away from me. She ran from me, and I never saw her again. Alone again in the world, I practiced my magic. It became my life, my obsession. One day, I tried talking to her again, but she called me a freak and said she never wanted to see me alive again. Anger grew inside me, and one day, my fire magic killed someone's pet. Seeing as I had done it, the people I thought I could trust banished me to this cold, desolate land. Thrown away from by the people I knew, revenge and anger consumed me, and I continued to study long-forbidden magic, my magical power growing stronger each day. Anyone that came into contact with me was killed immediately, my magical power was so strong. The people of this place, Calagua, sealed me away atop a mountain, where I wouldn't kill anyone again. But, when they needed my help, two years ago, when some person was taking over Calagua, I agreed to help, and if I won, make me emperor. I killed the man, and such I was made emperor. I thought, perhaps if I was an emperor, she would see me, and love me. But she had forgotten about me. So, I decided that I would devote my time to learning to control my magic, and thus, I have gained the power to toy with people's lives as I wish. The reason all of you are alive right now is by my grace. I could kill all of you where you stand, but I choose not to. However, the one thing that would make me truly happy- having her love me, say she does, and mean it- I can't get, unless I can go back in time and change the past. To never learn magic, to just get the courage-" tears filled Elcana's eyes as he spoke, "- to ask her to love me. Before she hated me, before I ruined the one chance I ever had with someone. I placed a magical seal on her, so that if I ever allowed my magic to burn the world to ashes, she would be unhurt. She is the only person that won't feel pain from my magic. The one thing that possesses the power to have me rewrite history- the Notebook of Fate. She owns it. I have tried for years to locate her and get it back from her." Robin lowered his tome. "Robin. Stand aside." Elcana waved his hand at Robin, and Robin stepped aside to reveal Anja sitting behind him. Elcana's eyes widened. "You… could it be?"
"No, no, it isn't!" Anja said, putting her hands up and taking a step back.
"Let me see that notebook," Elcana said, and reached his hand out. "Why won't it work? Why can't I get the notebook from her? Is my magic failing, or is that the notebook? Wait… you're the girl. Anja. The girl who, four years ago, rejected me." Elcana's eyes started burning.
"Don't touch her!" Robin said, raising his tome.
"You fool!" Elcana laughed. "Do you really think you, with your childish magic, would even make me feel anything? Your magic is so weak, and I'm so powerful, you could be here all day and I wouldn't feel a thing!" Elcana raised his hand.
"Elcana." Anja said, her voice clear. "Stop. Why are you doing all this?"
"You know why," Elcana replied, his eyes filled with tears. "Because you never thought of me as special! You always wanted to be with him! You never wanted to be with me! What did he do better than me? Was he better looking than me? Why did you pick him over me? Every time I saw you with him, it was like I was being sliced open on stones, it hurt so much! You had no idea! You never cared about me! You said you did, but you never really did! You only cared about him!" As he spoke, Elcana's eyes blazed.
"I didn't know you felt like that..." Anja said, softly.
"Of course you knew! Don't act like you don't! The way I acted towards you- you should have been able to figure it out! But you didn't care! All you wanted was him!"
"I honestly didn't know you felt that way about me… if I would have known..." Tears started falling from Anja's face as she spoke.
"Good! Cry! Feel a bit of the pain I felt every single time I saw you with him! Now you have a small taste of what it was like for me, knowing every single day, the one person I cared about the most didn't want me!" Elcana roared, his eyes ablaze and magic emanating from his body.
"It's not that I didn't want you, but… you never asked me, so I never knew it for sure..." Anja said, tears runnng down her face.
"Don't play that game with me," Elcana growled. He snapped his hands from his chest to his waist, and they ignited in a magical blaze of force. The magic energy in the room tightened, and Robin fell to the floor, gasping for breath. "I could kill you where you stand. I could completely vanquish your body, your spirit, your soul, and every single trace of your existence from this world with a simple swish of my hand. Yet… I can't bring myself to do it. Why not? Why can't I kill you?"
"Because..." Robin choked out, "You… you still love her..." Robin crumpled on the floor, leaving Anja and her notebook to face Elcana alone.
"Is he right?" Elcana asked himself. "Do I really still love Anja, after she has caused me so much pain, suffering, and agony? Do I really still do?"
"Do you?" Anja asked, gripping her notebook firmly, looking at him. The magic energy radiated off of Elcana's hands, and he closed his eyes. Anja braced herself, and opened her notebook, but the attack never came. Elcana dropped his hands back down, and the magic pressure in the room dissipated immediately. Robin sat up, coughing, and Ness stood up to look at Elcana, but said nothing. The rest were still unconscious.
"I do. I guess I can say I can. All this pain, all of it… it was worth it, in the end, to be able to see you again." Elcana said, tears coming from his eyes, staining his yellow robes. "Anja..." Anja walked forward, dropping the notebook, and embraced Elcana, who was still crying. "It may have only been five years, but… it feels like… it's been three thousand years."
"I never meant what I said to you, about not wanting to see you again, but I didn't know how much I really meant to you… I'm sorry for everything. Now, the Notebook… are we going to go back and rewrite history?" To go back, before all this?" Elcana looked thoughtful, then shook his head.
"No. That's cowardice, trying to avert the decisions I made and get out of them. I will deal with the choices I have made, and I will change everything with you at my side. I love you, Anja."
"I love you too, Elcana. And I mean it." The pair kissed, and cheers erupted from behind them.
"All right! Way to go! Happy ending!" Chrom said, raising his sword.
"Yeah! Let it happen! Hoo hah!" Robin exlaimed, raising a fist into the air.
"Save it for later!" Ness said. "But for now, it's time to party!" And with that, the group erupted into happiness, hugging and laughing and cheering.
Many hours later, when the party was dying down, a lone figure was watching what was going on. Anja had slipped away from the group, and Elcana was sleeping by her. She was writing in her notebook. It had been a good day. Anja closed her notebook, and looked at Elcana. I hope they like it, she thought to herself. She opened up her notebook, and looked at the last line.
It had been a good day, it read.