Hey yo. Sorry it's been so long since the last update, I know I promised that this chapter would be up quicker but yet again I really struggled to make time to write this due to numerous problems. I promise I'll try harder to motivate myself to updating more frequently future, it's just the last 3 weeks or so I've been really tied down with college work and have just felt really burnt out in the evenings so I've just kept telling myself "I'll write it tomorrow." I also didn't have access to my PC for a days because I was off staying somewhere else and never took it with me. But now I've finally got back into writing mode so here's the next chapter, just at the right time really because this is where the story really kicks into gear and all the excitement well and truly starts. Please enjoy!
Please forgive any spelling or grammar mistakes. I know there's been lots of them in the previous chapters and I'm sorry, I'm really hopeless I know .
Mikoto and Steiner were left absolutely speechless at the sight in front of them. Zidane, the person they'd just this moment been discussing and wondering about where he could possibly be. He was THERE, RIGHT THERE only a few feet away. They wouldn't have to search this whole continent looking for him because thankfully he'd come to them. But now they had another problem to contend with.
"ZIDANE!" spluttered Steiner who was still essentially lost for words. "What…. how…. where….?"
"What? Surprised to see me eh Rusty?" asked Zidane, a very strange smile was on his face. And his eyes, his eyes looked very unnerving. Instead of being their usual handsome blue they were right now evil manic red.
"Brother….." said Mikoto who was lost for words herself. It wasn't often that Mikoto was shocked at the sight of something.
"What is it sister?" he asked now turning to face his fellow genome. "Surely you're not surprised to see me are you? I told you I'd be back here soon enough and that when I did come that I'd spare no one. Well that time has come. I have already paid those dwarves on the other side of the continent a little visit." Zidane then raised his dagger up in front of him and Stiener and Mikoto looked at it. It was shiny red because it was covered in dry blood.
"Zidane…. what have you been doing?" Steiner managed to ask still trying comprehend what he was seeing. His eyes were fixed upon that bloody dagger.
"Work it out Rusty, it ain't that difficult," sneered Zidane in response to the question.
Steiner continued to stutter and struggle to get his words out. Mikoto however had now managed to compose herself again. It was the reminder of that threat against her and the other genomes which really got her back up.
"So then father, you've come here to make good on your threat then have you?" she asked now with a very dark look coming across her face. She was not going to show any weakness whatsoever. "Come to do to us what you've obviously done to those dwarves?"
"So one of you can put two and two together then?" he asked with another sneer. This was absolutely not the regular Zidane talking to them. It appeared that Garland's grip over Zidane's brain had not weakened at all. If anything it had grown even stronger.
Zidane stepped forward a few steps and stretched his arms out towards his sides. Both Mikoto and Steiner were caught off guard by this sudden movement and were even more taken aback by what he proceeded to do next. Zidane's eyes were open wide and bore look of complete madness. His was slightly raised as he began to rant manically.
"THE TIME HAS COME!" he shouted up towards the heavens. "The time that I destroy all life on the planet and claim this land for Terra is now upon us. I warned you all that I would show no mercy to any of you and once I've finished here I will head to Alexandria and wipe out everyone there too!" As he ranted he made various violent hand movements with his hands. This was another tell-tale sign (along with the crazy rant) because Zidane didn't normally make signals when he spoke.
Steiner's mouth was gaped wide open as he listened to all this. Before this he had only been told about Zidane's loss of his mind, he hadn't actually seen the effects for himself. He had thought beforehand that perhaps it wouldn't be so bad once he managed to confront Zidane for himself. He thought (well he'd hoped really) that it wouldn't be too difficult to help get Zidane back to normal. But now he fully realised how devastatingly difficult a task this was going to be to get his friend back. Perhaps an impossible task. But he had to try.
"Zidane please listen to me," he pleaded. "I know the Zidane I know is still in their somewhere and right now I'm talking to him. Zidane we need you back in Alexandria. Her Royal Highness Queen Garnet needs your assistance right away otherwise she will be lost forever."
The manic smile that had been on Zidane's face had wavered and he now bore a look of confusion. Sensing that his words had managed to have some effect Steiner didn't wait to be asked first before explaining further.
"Zidane, let me tell you about what has happened. We had to go back to Alexandria without you and once we Queen Garnet was met with the many problems she faces now. Lord Randle, the man who Her Majesty spurned in order to try and reunite with you is forcing her into marrying him! He's a very powerful and influential man but he's also a greedy, deplorable and wretched human being. He's has Regent Cid and Lady Hilda being held hostage and is blackmailing Garnet into marrying or otherwise he says he'll kill them! Queen Garnet needs you Zidane, she needs you now more than ever!" Steiner stopped there and waited to see how Zidane would react to what he'd just been told.
Zidane stood rooted to where he was, his face body language impossible to read. He'd dropped his hands and head down and his face was completely blank of any emotion. He actually looked like a statue at this moment and it was a actually a little unnerving at just devoid of emotion he looked. Mikoto was very quiet at this moment too as she also was waiting to see what her big brother's next action would be.
Although he looked completely blank on the outside, something very colourful was happening on the inside.
(Inside Zidane's head now. He and Garland stand opposite each other in a vast black space)
Zidane spoke first.
"Did you hear him? He said Garnet is being forced into marrying that Lord Randle and needs my help. I have to go and help her!"
"That is nothing of your concern anymore son," Garland answered. "I told you, they mean nothing to you, to us, anymore. You'll destroy them all soon enough anyway but until then I don't want you even thinking about any of them. Now snap out of it and kill this oaf knight who stands before you. And once you've killed him proceed to destroy every genome and mage you find in this village, I don't want a single soul left by the time we leave!"
Zidane stood quietly after hearing this, contemplating everything. He closed his eyes and thought deeply. Garland grew annoyed and impatient.
"Did you not hear me!" he asked menacingly. "I told you to destroy them all, now do it!"
"No," answered Zidane quietly.
"WHAT! WHAT DID YOU SAY!" Garland asked furiously.
"I SAID NO!," roared defiantly. "I WON'T HURT ANY OF THEM!" The young man was again proving difficult to control for Terran Lord.
Still inside this vast world of blackness, Zidane began to walk forwards very slowly. He walking towards where Garland stood. Garland himself was completely stunned by what was happening. Zidane had just flatly disobeyed his order and was no advancing on him.
"WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING!" bellowed Garland in fury. "I GAVE YOU AN ORDER, NOW OBEY YOUR MASTER!"
"No," answered coolly this time as he continued to slowly approached Garland. "That's it, no more. I will no longer allow you to use me to do your bidding. My will is too strong, the feelings of love that I feel towards my friends is too strong and my desire to stop you is too strong!"
A terrible pain then came over Zidane and he crumbled to his knees. It was the same pain that had overcame him in his hut a week earlier. He had by now though guessed what this pain was and what it was for. It was Garland's way of assuming control whenever he, Zidane, starting trying to resist the mind control.
"I'm tired of telling you this son, if you refuse to do what I order you to do then I'll just have to force you. And there is nothing you can do to stop me, my powers are too great!" He then cackled manically as he watched Zidane writhe on the floor because of the pain. But the young genome wasn't going to give in. He had too much to lose. To Garland's utter astonishment Zidane (still in tremendous pain) began to slowly pull himself back to his feet. The Terran lord was completely lost for words when only a minute ago he'd been laughing thinking he was in complete control. Zidane rose his head to look at Garland and what the creator saw when he looked at his creation was very distressing. Zidane's eyes were back to their normal clear blue, not a trace of evil left in them now, only a look of determintation.
"No… I won't do this anymore. I'm breaking…. FREE!" Zidane managed to say. Garland now went flat out in trying to assume control and force his will onto Zidane who in turn went flat out in trying to resist.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!" roared Zidane suddenly rushing forwards to charge Garland.
"YOU CANNOT HARM ME!" roared Garland in return who himself was now panicking. "I CREATED YOU!"
Back in the real world, inside the Black Mage Village with Mikoto and Steiner.
Both the knight and the genome still standing in the village clearing which where they'd been talking they'd previously encountered each other and Zidane. The man himself was also still in the clearing with them, however whilst Mikoto and Steiner were still perfectly fine, Zidane sadly wasn't. Whilst an epic struggle had been taking place in the young thief's mind where his good and evil sides battled for control, a very different picture had been seen by those on the outside. Steiner and Mikoto hadn't seen Zidane and Garland standing opposite each other, instead they'd instead seen something very…. shocking and disturbing.
After waiting for him to make a move or say something for what seemed like hours Zidane had suddenly let out a terrible scream began clutching head. He'd collapsed to the floor and began writhing around, obviously in a great deal of physical (and probably mental) pain. The most confusing and scariest thing of all though was that he began ramble incoherently as he writhed around. They could only make out occasional snippets of what he saying he appeared to be arguing with somebody who wasn't physically there. Some of the things they heard included "What did you say? My will is too strong, I'm breaking free, there's nothing you can do, my powers are too great," and finally "you cannot harm me, I created you!" After hearing that final line Zidane had suddenly ceased screaming and writhing and instead lay still on the floor. He was well and truly out of commission. Now Mikoto and Steiner (who were in such shock that neither of them had spoken or attempted to help Zidane during his episode) both stood staring at Zidane's unconscious body. Steiner cleared his throat and spoke first.
"Erm, Mikoto. Do you think he's okay? Do you think we should help him?" The genome turned her head towards the knight and answered him very calmly.
"Yes. I have no idea what has just happened to big brother either. I think we should take him inside one of the huts."
"Okay," said Steiner nodding. He then very cautiously approached Zidane's body, he was half expecting the young thief to suddenly jump back up and attack him. Alas, he didn't do that because Zidane was completely out of it. Steiner bent down and carefully scooped him up and proceeded to carry him over his shoulder.
"Where should we take him then?" asked Steiner turning back to Mikoto who was still standing in the same spot.
"Follow me," she answered simply turning around and heading off back into the main part of the village. Steiner then walked forwards and began to follow her.
Phew. Finally got this done. I hope you enjoy it because believe you me it was a real pain in my ass writing this due to various different things which I explained above. The next chapter won't take as long I promise, so until I upload it see ya!
P.S. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave me a review, not had one in God knows how long and a fresh one might help motivate me to write these chapters quicker in future (and improve their quality with some of your suggestions).