The Prophet's Apprentice-Redux
Written By: Dark Creation
*It's been 6 years and a couple requests for continuance of the original story. There have been a couple times that I've wanted to write another chapter and returned to the original story to reacquaint myself with it and I found myself unable to continue the story as it was written. Not to seem stuck up or arrogant, but I found myself unable to write at the relatively primitive level that I did before. Wanting to continue the story, but unable to do so as is, I have decided to rewrite it in a style and manner that I hope makes the story flow smoother and engrosses the reader more deeply than it did before. Outside of this brief introduction and any disclaimers that I can remember to put in, there will be no comments within the story so as not to interrupt the flow of the story. I hope fans of the original and anyone new to the story can enjoy this endeavor. I will appreciate any feedback, whether it be suggestions, criticisms, or encouragement and I hope to hear from you often as I found that nothing fueled my desire originally to write this story, more than the comments of my readers. That said, I do not know how often I will updated, but I will try to write fairly steadily and complete the story within a few months. Without further ado...The Prophet's Apprentice"
*I do not own Chrono Trigger, nor do I plan to profit financially from it or any other creative property not beginning with and belonging to myself.
Crono, Frog and Lucca descended the staircase gripped with equal parts fear and excitement. The adrenaline ran through their bodies so fast that their hands shook as they took hold of their weapons and their knees buckled with every step. Their hearts beat faster with every inch closer to Magus' dark throne.
They entered a pitch black room. The air was heavy and it felt as if there were an evil mist upon it. The chanting that had begun atop the stairway had grown from undefinable hum to a deafening song of shadow.
Crono and Lucca stayed by the door as Frog stepped forward. The brave knight had dreamed of this day for ten years, but his resolve was shaken, held together only by the promising light of the Masamune. As his foot fell, a dark flame erupted from an torch urn on the floor. Frog stopped, startled for but a moment. He looked back at his companions, who nodded in affirmation. This was what they had come for. This was the demon they had sworn to banish.
The three stepped forward together, with more torches lighting as they made their way down the carpeted path. The chanting grew louder still, but this time they did not hesitate.
"Neauga, ziena, zieber, zom...Now the chosen time has come...Exchange this world for..."
As they reached the end, the torches erupted in a circle around a solitary figure: Tall, pale, dressed in dark armor and a crimson cape and mantle. His long blue hair blew in an unnatural wind. He did not acknowledge them at first, rather he continued his chant. An ominous, four-armed statue became visible before the man, who finally acknowledged the adventurers with a twitch of his pointed ears.
He turned to face them with a dreadful scowl. He seemed unaffected by the suffocating darkness around them. His blood red eyes shot from one warrior to another, studying the heroes who had made it to his Ceremonial Hall.
"Magus!" Frog shouted, releasing all of the rage and bravery he'd accumulated over the ten years of his torments. Magus' eyebrow cocked as he realized who the warrior who stood before him now truly was.
"I...it's that stupid frog!" Magus said in disbelief, before cracking a malevolent smile. "Kissed any princesses lately?"
"I rather enjoy this form, and I oweth it all to you! I have something for you!" Frog said as he pointed the legendary sword at his sworn arch-nemesis.
"Ah...! The Masamune!" Magus said, seemingly amused. He raised his hands and the little light in the room flickered violently as the unnatural wind blue even harder. "The black wind begins to blow...Okay...give me your best shot...If you're prepared for the void!"
The warlock leaped into the air and disappeared, only to appear behind Crono, kicking him and knocking him briefly to the floor. The three young warriors huddled together, back to back to back, brandishing their weapons with deadly intent, but the dark wizard only laughed. Within moments, the room filled with electrical energy, exploding between the three warriors and knocking each of them into the wall.
Crono was the first up and released a lightening spell of his own that raced around the room, finding a shadowy target in a corner of the ceiling. As the dark figure fell, Frog leaped across the room in a manner that only his amphibious legs could allow, and met the mage as he landed, swinging his mighty blade.
Magus twirled in a deadly pirouette, the magical sword slicing slightly into his arm as he swung back with his scythe, glancing Frog's leg. Though the wound was slight, Magus immediately staggered, visibly pained by the cut, which only fueled Frog's offensive. He lunged forward again, but was blown back by burst of flame.
Lucca watched Frog hit the statue hard, but made note that the spell was significantly weaker than the one Magus had used to initiate the battle. She returned with one of her own and caught the wizard as he moved from shadow to shadow. An audible groan could be heard from the darkness, but the two remaining warriors could only determine a general location. Lucca fired twice into the shadows, but hit nothing but the stone wall. She looked to Crono, who could only shrug before being knocked to the ground by the but of Magus' scythe. Lucca raised her pistol, but was met with a kick to the face before she could pull the trigger.
As the two gathered themselves, Magus looked upon them with an angry sneer. He began to draw from the darkness of the room. His hands held a black orb of energy that grew as the light in the room began to grow brighter. He raised his right hand into the air and the orb of darkness burst and a wave of searing pain shot forth, consuming both Lucca and Crono.
Magus watched their bodies writhe on the floor and smirked, but his satisfaction was short lived as he found himself knocked to the floor. Before he could turn to meet the eyes of his assailant, the blade of the Masamune came down upon his face. He just barely evaded the full consequences of the attack, but another weakening cut had been made just below his right eye. The blows continued to rain down upon him, forcing the wizard to roll around on the floor to escape the certain death that the enchanted weapon was promising him.
Frog continued his relentless attacks, trying the keep his foe pinned to the ground while his friends recovered from the horrible spell that had brought them down. He lost ground on his opponent with every attack, and he knew it was only a matter of time before Magus got enough room to gather himself. He thrust down again and the blade stuck in the stone floor for just a second too long and as he pulled it from the floor, he looked up at Magus, who glared at him with evil intent. The warlock thrust his palms forward and rush of cold wind and sleet came forth, blowing the valiant knight back onto the floor.
Magus summoned forth his scythe again and approached the prone Frog, who lay motionless, ave for the occasional twitch, at the base of the statue. He raised the blade up and prepared to bring it down on the fallen warrior, who was saved at the last moment only by a pair of energy bolts that had flown errant across the room. Magus turned to face the source and found himself struck in the knee by a third bolt.
As he fell to one knee, Magus scowled with pain and rage at the gun fighter laying on the floor, pointing the pistol at him. She fired again, but Magus faded into the shadow. Lucca looked around desperately for the wizard, waiting for the final fatal blow, but it was a blow that would never come as the mystic lord reappeared in midair, just in front of the statue as a wave of water rushed over him slamming him to the floor before his dark idol, right next to the fallen knight who'd just struck him down.
Each of the warriors fought to get back to their feet and within a few moments, Magus found himself looking up to the young warriors from his knee. His frustration mounted as he shook his head and screamed in anger.
"W...what have you done...to the Masamune...?" He asked, breathing heavily. They gave no answer, save for Frog's slow approach. The noble swordsman stood before his fallen enemy and looked upon him, not in anger, but in pity. He raised his mighty weapon and prepared to bring it down upon the wicked wizard, but the castle began to shake violently. The stone rumbled and the torch urns turned over, spilling their magical contents to the ground.
"What's happening?" Lucca asked, barely keeping her footing.
"Could it be...Lavos?"Frog asked his friends, shaken by the raw power that seemed to be building invisibly in the room.
"Bad timing...! Don't wake up on me now...!" Magus pleaded in a nervous haze.
"What do you mean? Didn't you CREATE him?" Lucca asked incredulously.
"You fools!" Magus spat. "I only 'summoned' him! He lives in the inner earth, absorbing the land's power and growing ever stronger!"
"So, he wasn't born in this period..." Lucca said as she realized the truth. Within moments, the rumbling stopped and as she regained her footing, Lucca noticed that a familiar tear in the fabric of reality had appeared just behind the fallen warlock. The three companions eyes bulged as the tear continued to grow larger and as he got to his feet, Magus found himself joining his enemies in fear and wonderment as they backed away from the growing portal.
"What's going on?" Frog asked, turning to Lucca.
"A g, Gate? It's huge...!" Lucca responded.
"You! If you hadn't shown up...!" Magus growled just before finding himself being thrown into the air. The three of them flew helplessly in the mighty vortex, the gravity pulling their bodies to their already tested limits.
"We're being drawn in!" Lucca shouted, though she was unsure if the sound had carried far past her mouth. They swirled around the room at ever increasing speed, just missing the many pillars and statues throughout the chamber.
"Whoa...!" Frog shouted as he was pulled into the portal. Crono went next and as Lucca tumbled through the air, preparing to follow her friends into the gate to wherever, and whenever, it led, she felt a hand take a firm hold of her ankle and the last thing she saw as she entered the gate was Magus' fanged scowl.
Then everything went black.
Lucca awoke in the grip of pain unlike anything she had ever felt. Adding to the toll that her battle with the legendary wizard had taken upon her body, she found herself cold and wet, partially buried under a blanket of snow. As she slowly got to her feet, she surveyed her surroundings and found little more than plains of snow with mountains in the distance. She saw no sign of her friends save for a mound of snow not unlike that which she had just emerged. She approached it and began to wipe it away and as she did, she realized who lay helpless underneath.
"Magus!" She gasped, falling back onto the seat of her pants. He didn't answer. He didn't even move. She crawled back toward him slowly, waiting for him to spring awake at any moment and attack her, to try the finish the job he had come so close to finishing in his castle. When nothing happened, she placed her hand upon his face and found him to be ice cold. She looked around and once again found nothing. She sighed as she tried to decide what to do. He was her enemy. They'd just tried to kill each other, but now they were alone together, in a very hostile environment and she knew that they would need to help each other if either one was going to survive. Despite everything facing her at that moment, it was still a difficult choice.
She dragged his body across the frozen waste as she looked for shelter. The storm raged without relent, the sleet stung her exposed skin from every direction. With every step, his body became heavier and her own stalled defiantly, unwilling to continue. Still she pushed on, knowing full well what defeat in his horrid place meant. She pulled him, inch by inch, as her arms and legs screamed out in agony and just as it all seemed lost, she came upon a lone mountain and, miraculously, the entrance to the cave. She hadn't seen it through the storm until she was nearly there. Revitalized by her discovery, Lucca gave everything she had to cover the last couple hundred feet.
The cave itself was not much of an improvement over the storm. The air inside stung her lungs with every breath and the stone was wet and frozen. There was nothing living inside the cave. In fact, the only sign that any life had ever been there were a pair of skeletons, lost souls not unlike the strange pair themselves, who'd hoped to weather the storm. She observed her unlikely companion, still unconscious and barely breathing. Cold mist rose from his mouth and frost had already begun to crawl across his flesh.
Lucca knew that he didn't have much time if she didn't do something. She found a bit of kindling in the cave, most likely collected by their departed cohabitants, but there wasn't enough to to manage a proper fire which forced Lucca to do something drastic.
She piled the bones carefully around the kindling.. Despite the ice upon the cave walls, the air was dry and the bones had become so as well. She pointed her hand at the mound of wood and bone and summoned the last of her magical strength, igniting a spark in the makeshift fire place. At first there was nothing, but then smoke rose from the bones and within a few minutes, the fire raged.
She sifted through her pack and found her pistol, her tool kit, and a couple vials of tonic. She held the medicine close as she contemplated giving the last of it to the man laying helpless at her feet. It would most likely save him. It would at least wake him up, but what would he do when that happened. She was certain that whatever happened, it would not begin well. As they battled earlier, his rage had become palpable, his seething anger boiling over, almost changing the air around them. She knew he would not be happy now and would most likely attack her when he could.
She also knew that without her help, he may never wake, and the two of them might die together in that cave. Given that choice, Lucca opened the vial and poured the bitter liquid into his mouth carefully. As soon as the vial was empty, she reached for her gun and found cover behind a stalagmite. From there, she raised her weapon against the nearly dead wizard and waited.
Within a few minutes, his body began to stir. Lucca's trigger finger tensed, ready to pull the last few millimeters to fire the weapon she had aimed directly at his chest. He groaned softly and slowly began to sit up. He looked around, confused and in obvious pain. Within a few moments, he noticed the gun pointed at him. He didn't say anything and neither did she. He simply stared at her and she stared right back, her trembling arms visibly shaking the gun. Magus signed and rubbed his forehead for a moment.
"So? What now?" Lucca asked, breaking the eerie silence.
"Well, it would seem that I am your prisoner." Magus said, resigned to and annoyed by the fact.
"Do you know anything about where we are?" Lucca asked. Magus looked around and saw nothing familiar until he looked outside, into the storm. His eyes grew wide and he slowly rose, ignoring the young lady and the gun she had pointed at him. She watched him limp just outside the cave's entrance.
"It can't be!" He whispered, as if he were too afraid to say it out loud, lest it prove to be untrue.
"What is it?" Lucca asked, still aiming the gun at him.
"You may not believe this, but we have traveled back in time." Magus said, looking back at his captor, but finding no look of surprise upon her face.
"You'd be surprised by what I'd believe." Lucca responded. "Go on."
"If I were to guess, judging by the strength of the storm and the location of this cave, we are somewhere near the Algetty colony, circa 12,000 B.C." Magus said.
"How do you know this?" Lucca asked., confused by Magus' seemingly intimate knowledge of their current environment.
"I grew up here." He said to her, which visibly shocked the young lady. "Well, not here. Up there." He said, pointing into the sky.
"I didn't see anything up there except storm clouds." Lucca responded growing suspicious of Magus' story.
"Of course you didn't, but it's there: A kingdom of dreams, floating in the sky upon a cushion of power, fueled by the demon, Lavos." Magus answered.
"What were you doing in your castle?" Lucca asked as soon as Magus mentioned the name.
"I was summoning the beast to battle it and, hopefully, kill it." Magus answered.
Lucca had suspected as much. He'd spoken of the monster before with such venom and hate on his voice that it seemed strange that he would use it as a tool for power. She'd begun to think that there was something far more simple, more personal, fueling his actions.
"We came to your castle to stop him by stopping you." Lucca said as she lowered her weapon. "We thought you created him."
For a moment, Magus thought to attack, but he pondered her words carefully, realizing that their goals were the same. He studied her, much as he did before they did battle, but in a different light, under different circumstances. He examined her as a potential ally now, not a potential enemy.
"You know of me. You knew of my plan. You knew where to find me. You knew of the Masamune and the Frog. You even know enough of Lavos to want to see him destroyed." He said, glaring at her intently. "You know a great deal, yet I know nothing of you."
Lucca froze. She didn't know what to tell him. For all she knew, his hesitation might only an act designed to coax information about she and her friends out of her, but he seemed genuine. She wanted to believe him. She wanted him to be her ally in this horrible, unfamiliar place. Despite everything, she wanted to trust him, but she still wasn't sure if she should, or even if she could.
"My name is Lucca. I am an inventor and a time traveler, originally from the year 1000 A.D." She said, purposefully omitting any information about her friends. "In my travels I stumbled upon the year 2300 A.D. By that time, Lavos rules over the earth, poisoning it and consuming everything it has to offer. It is a rotting world, slowly dying with every passing moment. Having seen it, I could not let it happen. All the information regarding Lavos begins with you, so I naturally started there."
"You were the mastermind behind the attack on my castle? You led those warriors against me in a desperate attempt to stop Lavos?" Magus asked, in disbelief. Lucca nodded, wishing not to lie out loud. Magus gave a single nod back to her and suddenly lunged forward, wrapping his hand around her neck and pinning her against the wall. "Do not lie to me child! I will flay you in two and let your innards spill onto the floor without a second thought." Magus growled, spitting into her face as he spoke. She made no move to resist as he scowled into her face. She held her ground as best she could, her face maintaining a hard resistance.
Within a few moments, his grip softened and he let her go and turned back toward the entrance of the cave. She stared hatefully at him as he gazed out into the storm. She raised her weapon again and tightened her grip around the trigger. Her hands shook with rage and she thought she might accidentally fire, but that possibility did nothing to make her lower her weapon. She hoped it would happen. In those long moments, she wanted it to happen.
"The stakes have changed, but the opportunity remains." He said, turning back toward her, not even acknowledging her threatening stance. "How far are you willing to go to stop him?"
"What?" Lucca said.
"What are you willing to do to kill Lavos?" Magus asked, his eyes piercing into her heart. She knew then that no lie would pass.
"I won't hurt any innocents and I won't let you do it either." She said.
"You misunderstand me." He said as he stepped outside. "If my plan works, we'll be saving an entire kingdom, but if we are going to succeed, you'll need to do what I tell you. You'll have to follow my lead. You'll have to trust me."
"How can I trust you?" Lucca said, still pointing her pistol at him.
"We want the same thing. You trusted me enough to nurse me back to health. That's all the trust I am asking for. We can help each other." Magus said, a wicked smile crawled across his face as he began to imagine the possibilities.
"What do you have in mind?" Lucca asked, letting the pistol fall to her side.
"In time. Our first order of business should be getting some rest, then we need to do some hunting. Neither you nor I are properly dressed for these conditions and we'll need food if we are going to make it to Algetty. I am still forming this plan, but we should be able to discuss it in detail when we arrive at the colony."
"Fine, but I still don't trust you." Lucca fired at the wizard, who seemed amused by her defiance.
"You will. I assure you." He replied, laying down to rest.