Forsaken Chapter 3
From the Darkness
The ominous feeling hadnt left Terra when they returned to the foot of the Ancient Castle. She was positive now that the feeling she was experiencing wasnt imagined. Terra believed there was some other force at work here. She was also sure the others didnt believe that. However, she decided that now was not the time to discuss it. The men were occupied with trying to free themselves from this cave. Most of them were already making their way inside the Ancient Castle. Terras hesitant steps put her behind everyone else. It was at the castles door where her fear would let her go no further. That strange sound shed heard earlier was louder now, surrounding her. Within this indescribable noise, she could almost make out a voice.
Startled, Terra looked at Sabin standing before her. He had a look of concern on his face. Sabin She spoke timidly.
Sabin drew closer. Is something wrong?
Terra peered at him. You dont hear that? She asked.
He glanced around, searching more with his ears than his eyes. No. I dont hear anything. He responded. Do you still have that feeling? Terra only nodded. Sabin sighed lightly. I know you dont wanna go in there, Terra. But I dont want you out here alone either.
Please. I promise I wont let anything happen to you.
His sincerity touched Terra, but it was not just herself she was worried about. Wait Im the only one that can sense the whatever it is. At least if Im in there, I can warn them before anything else happens. I will not be surprised like I was with the cave in again! Terra nodded to Sabin. Alright lets go.
Inside the castle was also the same. With the exception of the footprints in the dust made by the soldiers just minutes ago, there was really no indication theyd been there before.
Terras eyes darted back and forth searching for danger.
Sabin was watching Terras strange motions. Shes seemed on full alert. Hed only seen her this way before big fights they hadnt seen coming. While he knew she wasnt as she was before, he couldnt help but be concerned for the safety of them all.
Terra, Im going to go talk to Cyan and Locke. Just stay right here. He told her. Terra nodded absentmindedly, not even looking at him. He sighed and walked toward Locke and the knight overseeing the soldiers. Cyan. Locke you got a minute?
Of course. Locke told him.
Sabin looked back at Terra for a moment. She was still seemingly searching for something. Its about Terra. I honestly dont think this is all in her mind. He told them in all seriousness. Maybe maybe there is something here.
The two other men looked at each other, then back at Sabin. Perhaps, Cyan began, the ladys fears are founded. But we have not seen evidence to support her theory.
Locke nodded. If there was something, surely it wouldve shown itself by now.
What about the cave-in? That was a little bit more than coincidence. Sabin said.
Locke shook his head. That could have been caused by anything! This whole place is falling apart!
There is no way to find out if the cave-in was anything but natural. Cyan added.
Right now, it doesnt matter if Terra is right or not. Locke stated, As long as were trapped in here, were screwed. Our main concern is either finding something to unblock the cave, or find another exit somewhere.
Sabin nodded gravely. Youre right, Locke. But we oughta keep our eyes open.
Good idea. Locke agreed.
It was no longer just noise it was voices. Dozens of them. Crying, screaming, laughing pain, sadness, hatred, insanity all these emotions surrounded them. But this time, she wasnt the only one hearing them. All of the soldiers had stopped what they were doing and started looking around anxiously. Locke and Cyan were too. Sabin was looking the only one looking at Terra.
Terra called to them. You hear it! You all hear it now! Theyre so very close to us! Theyre all around us! Terra shouted to them. Unsheathe your swords! Theyre coming for us! Then, a shriek came from the darkness, causing the men to jump.
What the hell is that!? Locke cried out.
Another cry sounded, but it was too close to have been an enemy. Sabin looked over to three of the soldiers who were now being attacked. Their attackers were ghosts. But these were unlike any ghosts he and the others had ever encountered. Sabin recalled the ghosts of the Phantom Train. Shrouded wraiths that just floated around moaning until you startled them.
But these ghosts were different. And they were not slow and weak like the Phantom Trains souls, they were fast. Very fast. Attacking with their spectral swords with skill and strength. Nor were they shrouded. Theyre faces were featureless, except for black holes where eyes and a mouth should have been, and partially transparent. Theyre bodies were the same, bodies of men in ragged soldier uniforms.
Terra had wasted no time in coming to the aid of the soldiers being attacked. She drew the Graedus at her side and began attacking the ghosts. She focused on the one closest to her, and swung the sword. She felt the sword making contact with something, even though it seemed to just pass right though it. And the ghost indeed recoiled from the blow, but it soon recovered and began attacking again. Terra growled in aggravation, swinging her Graedus with more fervor. The ghost, again, flinched from her strikes, but again, recovered and counter-attacked. Though its sword was also partially transparent, the blow sent her falling to the ground. Sharp pain coursed though her left arm. Terra looked at it to assess the damage. But there was no blood. Nor was there any physical marking of the attack. Yet she was barely able to move her arm.
There was no more time to ponder, the ghost that had just struck her seemed to be completely focused on her now. Terra had little time to get to her feet before the ghost attacked again. Before she could block, the ghosts sword had struck her right shoulder. It immediately burned with pain, causing her to drop her sword. The next swing came just as quickly, but instinct had her ducking to the ground to avoid being hit. Terra wanted to pick her sword, but realized both of her arms were completely useless.
Using the only limbs left uninjured, she ran from the ghost. It shrieked madly behind her and chased after her.
There must be some way to hurt them!, but Sabin and the soldiers with him had no such luck against three more ghosts that had come out of nowhere. Sabin had tried every attack he could think of and muster, to no avail. They seemed as though they werent even there, though they did recoil from his blows as if theyd struck. But it seemed to do little good, only stall them from attacking for a second or two. At best, they were preventing harm to themselves. But these ghosts were tireless and relentless. Sabin and the others could not hold out much longer against these creatures.
Sabin had barely dodged another skilled attack by the ghosts when he saw Terra fleeing from her own attacker.
Terra!!! He called out, but she had not heard him. Running from the attacking ghost seemed like her only concern at the moment. He was about to start after her when the soldier next to him let out a cry of pain. The soldier stumbled backwards when the ghost had struck the soldier on his arm. The soldiers sword dropped from his hand and the soldier fell to the ground. Quickly, the soldier had grabbed a torch that had been dropped in the midst of battle by another and hurled it at the enemy. The ghosts recoiled from the fiery object and did not immediately recover, as if they had been struck and were dazed.
Fire Fire! Sabin realized instantly.
He wasted no time in calling out to the others. Use your torches to fend them off! They seem weak against fire! He yelled as loud as his voice would let him. And even over the clanging of swords, they had heard him. Any soldier with a torch began waving them at the ghosts. They shrieked loudly and backed away from them. Sabin grabbed a torch of his own and started after Terra.
Terra had reached a dead end in the chamber where they had found the queen petrified from the time before. Her stone body was still there as Terra ran behind it for some kind of cover. The ghost chasing her had not been far behind her and charged into the room with its sword above its head. The ghost saw Terra and started to come toward her. But a strange light shown then. It filled the dark room, seemingly coming from all around her. The ghost gave an angry cry and fled quickly.
Sabin saw the ghost that was chasing Terra coming back towards him. Oh no Terra!, his mind panicked. Sabin took up a fighting stance. But the ghost didnt seem to notice him. It continued down the hall past him quickly. He continued on inside the next chamber and found Terra backing away from something. He ran immediately to her side to confront whatever was in the room. A ghost similar to the attacking ones floated before them. But this was the ghost of a woman, who tried to shield her eyes with her partially transparent arm from Sabins torch.
Please I mean you no harm The woman spoke in a voice that was no louder than a whisper.
Sabin, lets move back. The two of the backed away slightly.
Thank you. The woman smiled pleasantly, bowing her head to them. There is not much time.
You are the Queen? Terra asked.
Yes. I was once the Queen of this castle. Now I am a mere ghost, like the others. Her voice was filled with sadness. Listen I havent much time. He is coming.
Who is? Terra asked, not taking her eyes off the Queen.
The King he will not let me interfere. You must find him as you found me. You must The Queen stopped, looking around her with fear.
Terra looked around too. There was something heading toward them. She could feel it. What must we do!? Terra asked desperately.
I can hold the soldiers off, but I cannot stop him. You must leave the castle now! His power weakens the further away you are from this place! But you must come back and find him! As she spoke, the light that had filled the room was growing dim. An unnatural darkness began to surround them. Go! Go quickly!
Sabin would not let Terra hesitate. Grabbing her arm, he rushed out of the room, torch in front of him. He heard the terrible sound behind them. A deep but loud moan, as if it came from a large beast, behind them now. In the main chamber, the men were still fighting the six ghosts.
FALL BACK!!! OUT OF THE CASTLE NOW!!! FALL BACK!!! Sabin shouted as he and Terra headed for the castles doors. Sabin could feel whatever had come into the Queens chambers close behind them now.
The injured soldiers were picking themselves up off the floor and running with all the strength they could muster to the doors. The ghosts did not pursue them, retreating to the dark halls inside the castle themselves. Sabin looked behind only to be sure everyone was following them while he ran. Cyan helping the injured men move faster. Sabin kept going, running to the mouth of the cave theyd entered though. As the other men fled inside the cave, Sabin stood and watched the castle. Nothing was pursuing them.
Its over for now. Sabin told the men. Many of which fell to the ground in exhaustion and pain. Terra herself was already on her knees, trying to catch her breath. Sabin knelt in front of her. Are you alright?
I cant feel my arms but theres no injury. Terra stated, panting.
Its the same with some of the men too. Locke noted. Made a few of them drop their swords.
Terra nodded. I lost my Graedus too.
Locke knelt beside them too, hushing his voice. What do we do now, Terra?
Terra swallowed heavily. Have any man that isnt injured gather wood. We will build a big fire, just incase. Well also need more torches for when we go back inside.
Locke blinked. Back inside? Are you crazy!? We cant go back in there! Who knows how many more of them there are in there!
The other men had heard Lockes rant and were looking at Terra incredulously. She looked to Sabin. Help me up. Sabin brought her to her feet and she stood before the soldiers. We will have to go back inside. We must defeat the evil within.
How!? One of the injured men shouted. Look what theyve done to us!
Terra shook her head. This isnt permanent. Im already starting to get some feeling back in my arms. And I was struck before most of you. I believe that their swords were only meant to disarm us. She began to tell them of the Queens warning, and what she had asked them to do. Sabin nodded here and there, validating the story to the others. As Terra finished the story, she smiled at the soldiers. You fought very well. Defending off a surprise attack against enemies that no one has ever had to face before. But next time, well be better prepared! We know theyre weakness to fire! Next time, they wont be able to attack us head on! We will all be armed with fire! Terra paused, looking down at the ground. I know you all had signed on for this, thinking it to be only an expedition. But weve found a battle. A battle we can win.
Sabin scratched his head thoughtfully. The Queen said to find him as we found her what do you think she meant?
Terra shook her head. Honestly I dont know. Maybe she can speak to us again if we go to her or perhaps shell come to us. I dont know. But whatever she meant, Im sure we will find out. Once we search the castle completely. Well find it! But for now, we need to recover. Any man who can, go and find wood. Wood for torches and for the fire. Terra said, and the men obeyed. Most of them went off in pairs with torches and searched. Terras eyes widened with surprise. Normally, shed need Cyan to do the actual ordering.
Sabin noted her surprise. They believe in you, Terra. We all do. He said proudly, and then added in a lower voice. Maybe its time you started believing too.
Final Fantasy 6 Fanfic