The Legacy of Demetrius Chapter 4
Guardia Castle, 1003 AD
Marles body glowed momentarily as the lightning struck her in the chest. Crono watched the body of his wife drop limply to the ice covered floor. As he sheathed his katana he realized that he was the only person left standing in the hallway. The two knights before him had been killed by her. He prayed that she hadnt killed Lucca and Storkson. He prayed that he hadnt killed her.
At the end of the hall he found that Marle was indeed still alive, and silently hoped that she would be allowed to live past this day. Lucca too was alive, but the sight of his childhood friend caused him to wince. She had the too-skinny starved look of a person who hadnt properly eaten in some time. Her face was badly bruised, both of her eyes black and swollen, blood from her nose had painted her red all they way down her body, which was stripped to only her underclothes.
She smiled up at him. You need to work on your heroic timing, Crono. Half an hour earlier would have been perfect.
He smiled in relief. She was hurt, badly, but not too seriously, in the very least she would definitely live. Still smiling he lifted the body of the knight captain off of her and laid him to the side, taking the chance to briefly check for a pulse. Thankfully he found a strong one. Storkson was merely knocked out.
He pulled his friend into an embrace. Lucca, thank goodness your alive. This is all my fault. I should have warned you. I swear I didnt think it would progress this fast.
Crono, Lucca said returning the embrace. Im getting blood all over your fine white clothes.
He grunted. Right now thats the least of my worries. How are you feeling?
Oh, about as good as I look, Id say.
Thats not good then. You look a mess. He joked.
Uh, huh. About that, Crono, what on earth is going on? Through the beating and threats by one of my best friends, the sudden change from cruel captors to benevolent saviors of your knights and everything else, I really havent had time to figure things out. That and Im really cold. I dont suppose that you could get my pants from that cell and that cape Eric had given me, its on the bed.
Crono blinked, for the first time realizing that Lucca must have been freezing. He gently let her go and headed into the cell, feeling its frozen touch penetrate him to the core. As he gathered her clothes and the cape he spoke. Ive been aware of the change for a long time. Almost since the day of our marriage.
What is the change? And why didnt you tell anyone? Lucca asked taking the clothing from him.
He stared down at Marles unconscious body and sighed. I didnt tell you because I thought I had at least another month, before before things got this bad. I thought that if everyone knew what I knew theyd panic, and it would alert her, and speed things up.
Lucca pulled on her pants and draped the heavy cape around her shoulders. What would speed up? Has she actually gone mad like Eric said? And how could you possibly know how long it would be before she got this bad?
Not mad. Not exactly, thats just an oversimplified explanation for Captain Storkson. At first I thought she was just going mad, but before long I noticed something else. Her magic would change. Briefly. Just a flicker at a time. I recognized the knew magic as being shadow element. I tried to graph the data I observed, using the math youd taught me. It worked accurately until this happened. I must have miscalculated somewhere.
How can someones magic change? I didnt think it was possible.
Its not, Crono confirmed. Whenever I was certain the problem was magic related I searched out our best reference. Magus.
You found Magus?
No, not in person. What I found were some of his books. Apparently not all Mystics have been totally human friendly since we changed the past. Some have horded and stored magic relics that once belonged to Magus. I pulled some favors for a connection in the Medina government, got them a rather favorable trade arrangements. In return they made sure those artifacts and books ended up in my hands.
And the answers were there? In Maguss books?
Yes, but not in plain sight. I had to search through until I found references, sometimes obscure, and follow up on those. Maguss knowledge on magic is far beyond my own. Things that were obvious to him he wouldnt right down, making my search rather difficult.
But in the end you found something out, right?
Yeah, I found out that the only thing that could possibly cause someone to exhibit a true element change was True Soul Possession. See, Marle wasnt just using shadow magic. You or I could do that if we trained hard enough, just as how Magus could use spells of our own elements.
Marles aura was actually changing, in brief flickers, from water to shadow. As far as I can tell the only thing Magus knew of that could cause such a change was a full on possession. What he referred to as True Soul Possession.
So Marles not crazy. Shes just possessed. Thats really not good is it?
Crono shook his head wearily. No, not good at all.
Can we unpossess her? I dont know, exercise what ever it is out of her?
He smiled humorously. We could if it was Lesser Soul Possession. Thats to say she was possessed by something less than human, such as a ghost or evil spirit. Those things no longer contain completed souls. If that was the case Marles element wouldnt change. Because it did change, that means a living breathing person, someone of great magical talent, physically transferred their soul into Marles body, and its taking over.
So is there anything we can do for her? Eric said you had some kind of plan?
Crono nodded, his sudden smile full of hope. Yes, its a long shot, but Ive just collected the items needed to take that shot. He knelt next to Marles body and placed his hands over her. A harsh white glow surrounded her body. Within seconds it absorbed into her skin. Besides moaning briefly she gave no other reaction.
Lucca looked over curiously. Was that the cure?
No. That was just a trick I learned from one of Maguss books. I used my own magic to temporarily block hers. It wont help us in the long term, but short term it will keep her from waking up and killing us.
Oh, Lucca said. Thats always a plus. But you do have a long term plan? Right Crono? You mentioned some kind of magical items?
Thats right. Ive finally found a second Mirror of Whispers. Crono knelt next to Captain Storkson and placed his hands over his chest. Thin strings of lightning flickered across his body, and then with a flash of light he jerked wildly, his eyes flying open and air sucking into his lungs.
Y-Your Highness, He sputtered suddenly wide awake. Whats going on? The princess?
Shes alive. Now listen to me. I need you to take her to my room, Ive blocked her magic for now, but I still need you to tie her hands and feet. Theres going to be a mirror brought up by some other soldiers. Do NOT let anything happen to that mirror. Ill follow with Lucca, you carry the princess.
He nodded, getting to his feet. Yes Your Highness. Without hesitating to question the orders he lifted Marle into his arms and started off.
And what is a Mirror of Whispers? Why do you need two of them? Lucca asked as Eric disappeared out of sight.
Its a magic mirror, Crono started. I dont actually need two, but the first one ended up being quite stubborn.
Lucca blinked in confusion. Stubborn?
Itll be easier to just show you. Crono helped Lucca to her feet. Can you walk?
I think so, at least if you help me I should be able to make it.
Good. Lets go finish this.
Prince Crono and Princess Nadias Room, Guardia Castle , 1003 AD
The soldiers in the room looked worried. They had the princess they were sworn to protect tied up and laying unconscious on her bed, while they stood guard over a tall mirror. The men had little experience dealing with magic, and each one felt more helpless than theyd ever admit too. An audible sigh of relief sounded as Crono entered the room, helping his limping friend.
Thats the Mirror of Whispers? Lucca asked, looking at the seemingly plain mirror. How will this help.
Crono led them directly in front of the mirror. Just look in to it.
Lucca groaned as she saw her own reflection. Youre right. I do look a mess, but I still dont under- Her words ended in a gasp of amazement. On the wall behind them hung a large portrait of Crono and Marle on their wedding day. The reflection of Marle in the painting smiled at them from with the mirror.
I see youre true to your word, good prince. The mirror spoke with a feminine voice, but it was not Marles voice, it was the apparently unique voice of the living mirror. Youve finally found me a companion. Im forever in your debt.
Not at all, Crono replied. As long as you hold up your end of the bargain Id say were even.
The image of Marle frowned. You do realize that this might not end up the way youd like.
I know, and if the attempt fails I promise that Ill not blame you, or bare you any ill will.
Lucca realized that she wasnt the only one in the room who was shocked by the speaking mirror. Several of the soldiers kept switching their gazes between the real portrait and the speaking reflection portrait. Um Crono, explanation please.
This is the first Mirror of Whispers that I managed to find. It was owned by the leader of the Acacia Dragoons in the El Nido Archipelago, General Viper.
So thats what all of those seemingly random political trips were all about. You were searching for the things that could help Marle
Thats right, Crono confirmed. And four months ago I thought my quest was finally finished
But I had some terms of my own. The mirror finished for him. I apologize, but in the experience of my centuries of life not all humans can be trusted. Ive long ago learned that once a man has been given what they seek of me, they dont always return the favor, and that is why I insisted you keep your end first.
The second mirror. Lucca stated. You wanted a companion, and wouldnt help Crono until he found you one.
Thats right. And Im not ashamed of my choice. I did as I felt I must do, and I see that the good prince has found me the companionship Ive sought for so many years.
It makes sense, but what I still dont understand er Mirror, is how can you help Marle?
A Mirror of Whispers can transport people into the Realm of the Looking Glass. Crono explained. But it can only take one person at a time, so if a body containing multiple souls is to go through
They would be split apart, Lucca said, apparently impressed at Cronos plan. Just like the way a prism refracts light.
Yes, but because only one body came through, I can only let one body leave. The mirror said. The two souls will be separated totally, but theyll like have to fight each other to the death afterwards, because only one can return, and from what I gather they wont be on friendly terms.
So thats the plan, then Crono. Lucca looked over at Marle. And theres nothing we can do to help her? What about the other mirror?
Crono shook his head. The other mirror is even more stubborn than this one. I talked with him on the way here. It seems hes appalled at the thought of letting humans travel through him, and doesnt understand why any other mirror would.
All we can do is send Marle through, and hope shes the one who returns to us. If the other one comes out then all we can do is kill it before it can cause any more harm.
And what about you, Mirror? Lucca asked. Can you help Marle at all?
Im afraid not, child. The mirror replied sadly. All I can do is help separate them. Otherwise I can not interfere.
Not that any interference from any of you would change anything.
Crono spun at the sound of Marles voice. She managed herself into a sitting position and glared at her captors. A bold plan my darling prince, but it wont work. Ill flay the skin from your precious wife, inside of that mirror, and then Ill return to turn your bones to ash.
Im glad you think killing Marles going to be that easy. Your underestimation just increases the chances of her kicking your ass across the mirror world. Crono lifted Marles body to a standing position and brought her in front of the mirror. Ready?
Ready. The mirror replied. Crono pointed to the knife on Captain Storksons belt. He quickly handed it over. Taking a deep breath, Crono pushed Marles head into the mirrors surface. The glass rippled like water as her body vanished into it. Crono cut the ropes binding her hands and feet. With a final push Marle vanished into the glassy surface.
Crono dropped the knife and stepped away from the mirror. If anyone or anything other than the princess comes out of that mirror, kill it, He ordered, drawing his katana. The knights nodded and drew their swords as well. Lucca sat on the bed and waited. It seemed as though that was all she could do.
The Realm of the Looking Glass
One time as a little girl Marle had leaped into a creek to go swimming. It had been early spring at the time and even though the air had felt warm and the water seemed inviting, it was colder than anything she had experienced. Her father and mother had warned her that the creek was being fed by the snow melt and would feel like ice. Always wanting to do things her own way she had jumped in anyway.
The shock of regaining control of her mind felt something like that now. It was hard to breath, or even think, as the fog that had surrounded her thoughts evaporated with startling quickness.
Welcome to the Realm of the Looking Glass. I believe you will both be equally disoriented for a spell. I brought you both here, but only one may leave. Marle, I hope you are the one, because Im afraid the good prince will be very upset if you dont return to him.
Marle didnt know where the voice had come from, but she understood the message very clearly. Stay alive, or never see Crono again. In front of her another woman sat looking equally dazed. Curly auburn hair fell to her elegant shoulders, her dark eyes locking in on Marle with sudden awareness.
You, Marle said. I remember you now.
Thats good, Orbiana replied, coming to her feet. Then you know that you dont really have a chance. That fool husband of yours has sentenced you to death, and made me the executioner.
No, Marle said defiantly, coming to her own feet. Last time we met you had me at a disadvantage. The whole time traveling thing was new to me, and I was without magic of my own. This time I think youll find us equals.
Orbianas lip curled into a snarl. Equals. You are a fool arent you. Your fate is to be a slave and nothing more. Her hand suddenly went dark, like a black glove had been put on. From the tips of her fingers the blackness stretched out like a whip and struck at Marle.
Instinct born from combat let Marle react fast enough to save her life. The shadow whip crashed against a solid barrier of orange ice. For the first time she recognized her odd surroundings. The layout of the room was the same as that of her bedroom in the castle, but the colors were all rearranged. The effect was dizzying.
Orbianas shadow whip crashed into the ice barrier again, violently shattering it. Marle lunged out the door and ran down the hall. Her chances at close quarters combat seemed slim. As she reached the stairs the shadow whip finally found its mark. Though it was only a glancing blow Marle was thrown forward.
A smooth layer of ice, orange like the barrier, appeared on the staircase. Using the momentum from her fall Marle flew down the stairs on her stomach. She leaped up and entered a dead sprint as soon the stairs ended. Spinning around she raised another ice barrier. Obriana had just reached the bottom of the stairs, and was still out of range to attack with the shadow whip.
Marle placed her hands against the barrier. Large spikes of ice burst from its surface, transforming it from a defensive shield to an offensive weapon. Giving it a physical push, she used her magic to propel the spiked wall forward.
Out of Orbianas hand a second whip joined the first. With a swing of her arm both whips caught the ice barrier and slammed it into the wall to end its momentum. They wrapped around the remainder of the orange ice weapon and sent it hurdling back.
Marle leaped out of the way, only to get caught in the chest with a bolt of dark energy. As she fell back Orbiana sent a second projectile flying through the air. Marles makeshift ice barrier shattered as soon as it went up. The impact of landing on the ground knocked the breath out of her lungs.
Orbiana laughed from across the castles large lobby. My equal indeed! Just because youve managed to learn some magic doesnt make you anything more than you ever were.
Marle stood and gathered the airs moisture, forming it into a single long projectile. She sent the ice missile flying at her enemy far faster than the larger ice barrier could travel. Orbianas ice whip easily caught the orange ice missile from the air, snapping it in two.
My darling princess, I promised your prince that Id flay you alive, and I always keep my promises.
Prince Crono and Princess Nadias Room, Guardia Castle, 1003 AD
The color drained more and more from Cronos face as the time went on. Lucca reasoned it could be taking so long, because Marle was putting up a good fight. Then again the thing that possessed Marle might just be taking its time finishing her. Lucca forced her mind from the thought, but sitting around doing nothing made Lucca feel sick.
She tore her eyes from the mirror and looked out the window. The sun shone warmly down on the castle grounds. After her time in the frozen prison cell, she had almost forgotten what it was like to be warm. The warm sun seemed out of place considering the dark mood of the situation.
Lucca spun around to Crono, the inspiration of her idea hitting her like the warm rays of the outside sun. Crono, is the Realm of the Looking Glass the opposite of everything we know? Like a mirror image?
Crono shrugged, not taking his eyes from the mirror. I dont know, not exactly. I think for many things the answer would be yes. But not for everything. I think its a lot more complicated than that.
The other mirror, though. It wont send us there to help, but would talk to us right? Answer questions?
Yes, Crono replied. Pretty sure it would.
Crono, I have an idea. Do you think the other mirror will let us send a message across?
He shook his head, sweat beading down his pale brow. I-I really dont know.
Lucca leapt to her feet, unfortunately, her legs still hadnt regained the strength needed to support her weight and she collapsed unceremoniously onto the floor
Crono turned a worried look to his friend. Lucca, what are you doing?
I need to get to the other mirror. Now.
Crono turned his gaze back to the mirror. Captain Storkson, take Lucca to the other mirror, and hurry. If her plan can help I want to give it the chance to.
Without replying the knight captain sprung into action. Recovering his knife from the floor he cut the leather fastens on his armor, dropping the heavy plate mail to the ground. The next thing she knew he was sweeping her off the ground and sprinting out of the room.
It would have taken too long to take the armor off properly, He explained to her look of puzzlement.
Lucca braced herself as he recklessly bounded down the stairs, his steel boots crashing every jump of the way. The ride left Luccas bruises sorer than when they started, but his speed was impressive to say the least. Within moments the knight was helping her stand in front of the second Mirror of Whispers.
In the glasses reflection Lucca watched one of the castles ceremonial armored statues spring to life. The way its face plate lifted up and down would have normally seemed comical, but the situation was far too serious for any laughs.
The mirror spoke in a haughty male voice. I already told that prince. I will not let any filthy humans travel through me, and compared to the prince you look about ten times filthier.
Considering her appearance Lucca let the insult slide. If its sunny in this world, is it raining in your world?
My world? The mirror asked snidely. Do you mean the Realm of the Looking glass? Because Im of both worlds, and not confined to either single one like some lesser beings.
Whatever, yes, the Realm of the Looking Glass. Right now its sunny here. Is it raining there? Lucca said impatiently.
You humans, always trying to over simplify things. It just goes to show how inferior your intellect is.
Just answer me! Lucca hissed angrily, in no mood to be insulted by a piece of glass whenever her friends life was on the line.
Well, arent you the vulgar one. Fine, yes it probably is raining on the other side, if its not over here. I cant say for sure, but there is a very good chance.
Good! Good! Lucca shouted, her plan at least had a chance. Can you send a message to the other side? I dont need to go through I just need to send my voice over.
Oh, no. I couldnt have that. Your filthy voice would be just as bad as your filthy body. I wont do it.
Then take the damn message yourself! You can at least talk to them, right?
I could, yes. But why would I do a favor for a vulgar beast such as yourself?
Because if you dont I swear Ill shatter you into so many pieces that it would be impossible to ever collect them all.
Fine Ill send your filthy message. What do you want to say?
Lucca sighed with relief. There was a chance yet for Marle to survive this. Tell my friend Marle that Lucca says to go outside. Take the fight outdoors.
The Realm of the Looking Glass
Marle was being backed into a corner. She could feel her magic beginning to wane. Each ice missile launched did little to slow Orbianas advance. A few more feet and Orbiana would be within striking range with her whips. The projectile dark bolts Marle could block with her ice barriers, but those shadow whips would rip the barriers and herself in half in they struck a direct blow.
To the filthy human named Marle. Your vulgar friend Lucca wants you to take the fight outside.
Both Marle and Orbiana stopped in surprise. Marle recovered her wits first. She didnt know whos voice that was, but if Lucca really did think going outside would help, she would get outside.
Marle knocked her stunned adversary back using a simple focused blast of icy wind. The attack would do no real damage, but it gave Marle the gap she needed to run past her, and get a clear lane of escape to the door.
You really think going outside will help you? Fine, flee me, but I will hunt you down and kill you all the same. Outside, Inside, it matters not.
Marle paid little attention as she flung the doors open and rushed into the rainbow colored air. It took a second for her to realize that the air wasnt rainbow colored at all. The rain was. Drops of rain cascaded down in every color Marle had ever seen. The initial sight of it took her breath away despite her lethal situation.
Orbiana exited the door and followed Marle down to the castle grounds. Her single minded goal kept her oblivious to the rains beauty. Now were outside princess. Will you fight and die? Or continue to run and then die. The choice is yours.
The rain was the most stunningly beautiful thing Marle had ever witnessed. Not only because of the exotic colors, but because rain was water. She looked up at the approaching Orbiana and smiled as though noticing her for the first time. Marle laughed at the foolish woman who approached her. You did it again, Orbiana!
Did what again?
You underestimated the mind of an Ashtear again. Even now you dont realize that my friend Lucca Ashtear just gave me all the weapons I need to kill you.
Orbiana paused mid-stride. Weapons, what weapons?
Have you not paid attention at all during our fight? I make ice! I make it by using magic to gather, multiply, and freeze the water moisture in the air, because of this Im near useless in some situations. Like say, a desert with incredibly dry air. Here on the other hand. In the middle of a rainstorm I have an unlimited amount of water to use. It takes next to no magic for me to create ice out here. All I have to do is freeze it, nothing more.
Youre bluffing. Orbiana stated flatly. The rain wont increase your capabilities that much. Besides, youre exhausted.
Marle smiled. Catch. Quicker than before duel ice missiles formed in front of her. She effortlessly sent them at Orbiana. The double headed shadow whip caught the missiles just as easily as before.
So now you can throw two useless chunks of ice at once. Oh yes princess, very impressive. Youre right Ive really been beaten this ti-.
Orbianas sarcastic remark changed instantly into a shriek of pain as her left hand disappeared in a spray of blood. Torn clean off by a jagged chunk of ice that fell from above. The shadow whips vanished with her hand.
You you bitch Ill kill you! Orbiana pointed her other hand at Marle. Several bolts as black as midnight shot forth. Each one hit a shield of ice long before they met their mark.
Dont you get it yet? Marle asked. I can form protective shields instantaneously in the rain. I dont need to worry about gathering and multiplying the water. Its already all around me.
Before Orbiana could send another bolt her right arm was struck near the elbow by another falling blade of ice. With a scream she stumbled backwards.
Its dangerous to bleed like that. Marle called to her. Let me help.
On command the rain turned to ice covering her bleeding severed limbs, incasing them in bright orange casts. Orbianas backwards retreat was halted when more ice seized her legs. Enraged beyond words the former Empress of the Hendbar screamed in fury at the young blond woman who stood less than thirty yards away.
I could leave you here, you know. Marle said. Just like Demetrius left you in the Darkness Beyond Time I could leave you here in the Realm of the Looking Glass, but Ive learned from his mistake.
You might eventually find a way to escape from this prison, and if you ever did that and harmed more people it would be on me. I wont have their innocent blood on my hands, but yours I can handle.
Marles final frozen projectile screeched through the air and imbedded itself in the forehead of Orbiana Modilla, silencing her furious screams. She covered the rest of the body in a shell of ice to shield herself from the morbid spectacle. It was over, she had somehow defeated the foe who had resided within her own mind for all those years.
Taking a last look at the awesome multicolored rain Marle went inside the mirror castle and made her way back to the room in which she had first appeared.
So you survived after all. Im so happy for you. The voice called to Marle.
Thank you, but how do I get home?
Since you are ready now, lets go.
Marle felt something push her from behind, and then the world swirled out of vision. The sensation of returning was pleasant rather than disorienting like her entrance trip. She stumbled out of what felt like a doorway, but what she suspected to be a mirror, and found herself with half a dozen swords pointed at her.
Crono dropped his blade to the ground when he saw the familiar form of Marle step out of the mirror. Before she could speak she was in his arms. The knights surrounding them rose their swords in the air and gave a loud cheer.
Lucca leaned against Eric and smiled at her two friends. I see youre rather wet, Marle. I guess my advice helped after all.
Luccas Orphanage, 1003 AD
Thats amazing! Lucca scribbled in her notebook and turned back to Marle. So this Demetrius, my ancestor, was actually able to create and program usable Chrono Triggers?
Marle nodded as she took another bite of sandwich. From the story Orbiana told me it seems that way.
Amazing, Lucca repeated. Just simply amazing.
Crono entered the room carrying Kid piggyback on his shoulders. I think it makes sense. Gasper was only human and he made a Chrono Trigger, and if anyone else would be smart enough to make a one it would be an Ashtear, plus it explains where you got your brains from.
Lucca smiled at the compliment, but returned to writing in her notebook. This is an amazing break through, all of it, it explains so many things. The Darkness Beyond Time! Its very existence helps the math work out better!
Marle blushed. Im glad that you got something positive out of the experience. It seems that most of what I gave you were bad memories and bruises.
With her free hand Lucca waved the comment off. Wasnt even you. It was that Orbiana woman, besides you killed her, making sure her harm ended there. Hows your father by the way?
Recovering, like I expected. Crono answered for Marle. Whenever Orbiana would take over shed poison him little, by little, using magic. Thats why none of your tests could figure out what was wrong with him. I couldnt use my own magic to outright cure him, because then shed have found out that I knew about her. So all I could do was keep him just healthy enough not to die.
Lucca sat her pen down. I guess this wasnt quite the grand adventure that were used too. I mean, its not like we stopped another world eating alien, but all in all Id say we made the world a lot better without the threat of Empress Orbiana lingering in the shadows.
Yes, and now I bet all of our lives will be a whole lot easier, Marle said.
Lucca frowned as she glanced down at her notebook again. I dont know about easier. All these questions Ive just answered have only led to more something tells me my life is going to stay difficult for a long time to come.
All That Glitters Is Cold 4 Fanfic Competition
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