"So... Marth's to blame for everything?" said Hector.
"No, let me explain this again." said Marth (Prince Marth, not the Marth from Odegan, who was being blamed for everything), "The fairy was the one who resurrected Marth from the dead. The resurrection caused all the problems. Marth had nothing to do with it. He was dead while it was all happening."
"So, we have to kill the fairy and not Marth?" asked Hector.
"I doubt its as simple as killing anyone." said Marth, "We've done nothing but kill every threat that's come to our worlds."
"Or fail to." said Kane, earning him a sour look from Max. His brother was awake now, due to the influence of some very strong Medical Herb tea.
"Or fail to." added Marth, "Which is a point. Most of the time, all we've ever done is keep threats at bay. We did so because they were going to destroy our worlds. We don't really know that we were 'supposed' to, or that it was destiny, because we're mortals, and mortals don't know how destiny works. We know that Marth came back from the dead at some point when he wasn't supposed to and that, ever since, the line between life and death hasn't quite been... right... especially around us, people who are in some way related to Marth, by blood or by succession of destiny. And that its getting worse lately. We can logically put these together and we can conclude that destiny isn't quite working right. It may or may not be our fault, but its definitely our problem. And we can't solve it by just killing another demon, because we always do that and yet nothing has really changed."
"For all we know, it could be making things worse." added Ike, "I mean, the original thing that went wrong was to do with someone dying. Or not dying. Or a bit of both. So by just trying to kill things and stop people dying as though nothing is wrong, we might just be putting too much weight on whatever's broken."
"But it'll be okay to ask Anna, right?" said Ike, "She must already know all of this."
"That she does, but she won't be expecting us to know." said Marth, "Marth was never supposed to overhear or remember. What if this is forbidden knowledge?"
"Forbidden? But its slowly killing us all off! We can't just not know about it!" yelled Ike.
"If Marth really did see Anna, and she knows all of this... Anna is part of some kind of authority greater than anything we can envisage. We don't know if she even cares about mortals, or if she sees our kind of numbers as completely inconsequential. She might even just decide we're the problem and wipe us all out."
"That's assuming she can wipe us out, and it won't just cause even worse problems." said Max, "She must have agreed to spare Marth's life for some important reason."
"You've got a long way to go if you want to see Anna." Hector pointed out, "She was at home, doing some paperwork, last time I saw her. I thought we were running out of time."
"Its true. We're at great risk right now." said Marth, "If there really is something wrong with our destiny, its going to be worse if we're all together to affect each other's destiny. Especially for an event as important to our futures as the peace treaty. We're also not going to be able to just stop the peace treaty without some serious explaining."
"But if we can't find Anna, what are we going to do? We still don't have a clue what's going on!" said Ike.
"Can't you find that fairy we're not supposed to kill?" asked Hector.
"I've spent most of my life searching for her." said the other Marth.
"What about that place you said you went to?" asked Hector, "When you died. The office-y place. Then the fuzzy place."
"Oh, that place. I doubt its on the same dimension."
"That might not matter." said Max, "Do you remember it at all? What it looked like? Anything at all about where it was in relation to somewhere else? Could you form a mental picture of it in your head?"
"Er... possibly... it was a pretty vivid memory... why do you ask?"
Kane suddenly looked at Max in shock, "Max, don't you DARE!"
"I'm willing to try, if its for something this important." said Max, "Although it wouldn't be a good idea to try it in a church. Too much interference."
"If it goes wrong..."
"Kane, we could find out why it went wrong! Prevent it from ever happening to anyone again! And we know that I can go to places I'm not supposed to, so I'm the obvious choice."
"What are you two on about?" asked Hector.
"If you think you know a way to get there, I might be able to make a map." said Prince Marth.
"You can?" asked Max.
"There is another reason why I arranged to see Marth alone, and why I've been so careful about secrecy. And why I needed everyone's paperwork. The truth is... I've been stealing from Anna's library."
"WHAT?" yelled Ike.
"Its been going on for several months now." said Marth, "Only one or two pages at a time. I've been making duplicates and putting them back in their place. However, I need to share this information with Marth, compare my notes to all the research he's been doing over the years. There are some things too sensitive to send offworld in the mail. Its growing increasingly hard to disguise what I'm doing with code words. Its also been a nightmare trying to get any information at all. Anna uses magical wards that don't exist anywhere else on the continent, her technical jargon is incomprehensible and I'm no thief at the best of times. But I found some references to the central office of her organisation."
"You did all this this without anyone knowing?" said Hector.
"I couldn't implicate anyone else in this. Do you understand what the punishment could be for stealing from someone like Anna?"
"IDIOT!" roared Hector, "You don't solve problems by yourself! We always work in groups! Always!"
"It doesn't matter now. We're all in this together." said the other Marth, "Especially Max and Roy. It wouldn't be right to withhold information from them if there was any chance of us reversing whatever's happened to them. We'll let you see our maps if you get us to where we want to go."
"Max, are you listening to me? We are NOT doing this!" yelled Kane.
"Max... what's going on? Why is your brother yelling at you?"
"He wants to cast Egress." said Kane.