The Rise Of Evil Chapter 7
"You've seen my dad!" Crono exclaimed.
"Hold on, that's a maybe. He could be an ancestor of you,"Janus informed.
"But it's a chance," Crono enthusiastically replied. "We have to go, you must take me to him. We'll never know if we don't at least try to find him!"
"I'll take you," Janus calmly answered. "Just remember not to get your hopes up, it might only be--"
"Just take me!" Crono nearly screamed. Janus's eyes widened for a moment but kept his usual stoical face.
"Crono," the monotonous voice of Robo called, "do be so ever careful, it would be horrible to see you hurt. My sensors read it's two below zero outside. Janus, make sure to keep it warm with your fire spells." Janus gave no reply. Janus and Crono walked outside, Crono shivered, however Janus barely flinched. They stood side by side and a green orb went up around the both of them. They slowly began to rise into the air and then suddenly shot off like a cannon. Robo watched them until he couldn't distinguish them from the horizon.
Marle walked up to Robo. She yawned and stretched her arms over her head. "What's goin' on?" she asked over her yawn.
"Janus and Crono just set off to go search for Crono's lost father." She continued with her lackadaisical yawn and suddenly stopped. Her eyes went as wide as saucers and she wrinkled her brow. "What?"
Marle but in, "I know what you said!" she blurted. "It's an expression used to--oh nevermind! Why'd you let them go in this cold?"
"I couldn't have stopped them. It was what Crono needed to do."
"Well, you could have let us have a little advanced notice. We all could have gone with him. What if he gets into trouble?" she ranted.
"Marle, Marle," Robo soothed, "I wouldn't worry. They are both quite capable warriors. In addition, I believe this something Crono should do alone. He'll most likely tell Janus to wait outside while they talk." She looked off into the distance and then turned back to the cave. She finally noticed she hadn't eaten in a while. "Robo, do you have any idea of what there is to eat?"
"Hmmmm. I detect small creatures running about, we could catch something."
"Well, there's a dear over there," he pointed.
"There, two point seven miles due east."
"Like I can see that," she scoffed. "Well, since I haven't a weapon to use, why don't you go catch it?"
"Very madam." And Robo jogged off in a comical android sprint to get a dear for all of them to eat. She couldn't stop worrying about Crono though. She shook her head and reminded herself she was being like an old mother.
Crono scanned over the icy waters. It all looked the same to him. Ever since they went past the Last Village he'd just seen iceberg after iceberg with some more ice in between.
"How much closer?" Crono asked.
"Not far," Janus mumbled. Janus stood in the center of the green orb, but Crono rested on the side. Every once in a while he'd stand straight up just to stretch his back, but there wasn't much room.
"Hey Janus, do you think you could make it a little bigger in here?" Crono sarcastically asked.
"Nope," Janus retorted. They kept on flying over vast expansions of ocean for another ten minutes, or so, until they came to an extremely small island in the middle of the ice. It was a small isle of land with glaciers protecting it. Janus slowed down and lowered altitude. They came down closer to a very built hut. There were beginnings of new pine trees in the island. There was a small smoke stack on the top billowing smoke. It had a roof of sticks and snow, compacted until it was strong enough to step on. The place was small, one story, and pretty. It looked as if he'd put a lot of time into making the place able to stand up to a blizzard.
They touched down and Crono looked around for a moment. His bushy red hair swayed from side to side as he scanned the snow covered ground. Crono noticed a log pile on the side of the house, fresh foot steps dotted the ground from the log door to the pile. A blizzard was picking up and Crono wrapped his arms around himself and shivered.
"This is it," Janus sneered, his cheeks were starting to turn red from the cold. The only color Crono had ever seen in them. His blue hair whipped wildly in the wind, he brushed it out of his face and gestured to Crono with both arms as if to say: After you sir!
"Well, no time like the present," Crono mused. "Or any other time we like, really," Crono also observed. He ambled over to the cottage fighting the wind. It was bitter cold, and Crono was wearing his summer clothes. He wished Janus had kept the air warm outside of the bubble as well as within. "Brr," he shivered again. But this time he wasn't sure if it was from the cold or the anxiousness. Crono walked right up to the door and raised his hand to knock. Just as it was about to hit he stopped.
"Well, whudya waitin' for?" Janus asked.
"I--I don't know," Crono stammered. "I can't do it." He looked at Janus with pleading eyes, "I just can't face him. It's been so long!"
"Well, fine, it's too bloody cold out here to have to deal with your inner-psycological problems so move out of my bloody way boy." Janus pushed Crono to the side and knocked on the door. He then moved and placed Crono back in the front of the door. Crono looked at Janus questioningly and then looked at the door with uncertainty.
"Ohhh, hurry up, please!" Crono begged to the door. As if on cue, the door was pulled open. Crono and the man both gasped as they studied each other. The old man had red, spiky hair that was graying on the sides. He had a big red beard that also showed signs of age. He wore a big furry skin on him that covered most of his body. It had a bear head on the end of it that served as a hood for the thing. It draped down to his knees and under there he saw leather pants with boots on them that came up to mid shin. He noticed that they were fairly leather, newly skinned. Crono saw he had green eyes just like Crono. He stood about the same height, just slightly taller. Janus noticed the resemblance between the two and was inwardly amazed.
"Who are you two?" He pointed at Crono, "You, in particular."
"He is Janus, and I am Crono." His eyes brightened.
"Crono? From Guardia?" he asked with eyes full of hope.
"Yes, is your name Roland?"
"Yes, it is!" he exclaimed. Both of their eyes went wide with glee and they rushed in and embraced each other. Roland, Crono's father placed a light kiss on the top of Crono's head.
"It's been so long!" Crono managed to speak between sobs. "Dad!"
"Crono!" Janus looked on all of this with contempt. He shook his head and crossed his arms to gather some warmth. He soon uncrossed them because his robot arm was quite cold. He cast a very low flame spell and warmed the air around him. He looked around and found nothing to do, so he just stood and watched the two of them blubber all over the place.
Crono pulled away and looked up at his prodigal father, "What happened? Where have you been?"
Roland wiped away a tear and chuckled a bit. "Now that is quite a long story dear boy, come in out of this miserable cold and let me tell you of my past ten years. Invite your friend in and let me tell you."
Magus and Crono sat in front of the fireplace on a carpet made entirely of furry animals. There were two wooden rockers in the house, neither of them used them. Roland returned from the kitchen, which was really just the far side of the hut, and gave the both of them tea. Janus sipped on it like he had been taught in Zeal, some things become such a habit they are innate. He was very refined in the way he eat and drank. Sitting on the carpet Crono slurped down his first gulp of tea and jumped a little when it singed the whole inside of his mouth. He then realized that it wasn't iced like like he was accustomed to, and then noticed the huge amounts of steam coming from it. He made a remark about how stupid he was in his head and placed it on the rug.
Roland sat down in a chair in front of them and started the story, "As you know I have been gone for ten years. I was sucked into a blue portal and wound up on a lush green continent which I learned was called Zeal." Janus looked up with a bit of interest on that one. "I didn't know where I was, or how I had gotten there, so I traveled to the first place I found, Kajar. the place was absolutely stunning. Beautiful design, inspired by some of the greatest architects ever to grace the land. They had an awesome library, tremendous. I've rarely seen such an amazing place. It had living quarters, research labs, and so much more than met the eye. There was also rumor of a secret room. I asked around there for where I was and what kind of place was I on. they told me all I've told you, and something else. They picked up on something that I only would have shown one person," he pointed at Crono, "you.
"Crono, I have some powers in me that I one day would like to have passed on to you. Four families have these powers at one time. Only four, no more, no less. And in the family only one may wield the power. Whether male of female. These are the powers of the Bearers of Light. I, in addition, have been blessed with the unique ability to read minds, and influence emotion. Your friend Janus is rather sullen, but now that he's in my presence I've made him happier." Janus looked on with his emotionless face. "I am a very strong warrior, just as you most likely are as well."
"Yes Dad, I am quite good with a sword, plus I can wield powerful lightning magics."
"Really? Tell me later, you want to know about me. So I'll tell. So anyway, when the time is right I will pass the powers on to you."
"They are strong, they are pure good. Just the force of all good and holy are placed into the blast of light. You should be an amazing warrior because you have inherited the amazing ability to fight. You are unconsciously training yourself to fight. I did too, and that leads me back to Zeal. In Zeal I was in the biggest palace and the queen happened to walk past me. As she did she felt my powers just leaking off me. She made inquired to where I had come from. I told her that I had been sucked through some sort of portal, I thought it might have sent me into the past. She didn't believe me, of course, but gave me a home simply because of my amazing powers that she sensed.
"She began to inform me of the kingdom's troubles. A man named Cameron Delecroix--"
"Cameron!" Janus and Crono said in unison. They looked at each other queerly. Crono took over, "The reason I'm here is partly because I am trying to stop him from opening a portal--"
"That will release the Daemon Trainer. Yes, I know. I helped in stopping him. So you've found trouble with him too?"
"He is loose," Janus sneered.
"Oh my," Roland gasped. "He would -- he's loose? How?"
"We.. We're working on that," Crono explained. "Continue."
"Yes, yes, where was I? Ah yes. the queen came to me and asked me how strong I really was. I told her I'd sensed her strongest magi, I could've taken them. She informed me of her recent confrontation with Lavos, who had told her how truly evil Cameron was. I told her about the banquet the wizards should hold for her out on Zeal, so they could attack him in the open. She agreed and let me arrange the whole thing. I can sense you both know what happened there, so I'll skip the specifics. Anyway, It got down to just a very few of us left, most of the continent was gone, the Sun Palace was completely separated from Zeal by the time we were done destroying the place. I attempted to overpower him with some of my strongest attacks, but he easily deflected them and rushed in. He lost his human form and morphed into a huge imp. I don't know how, but he knew that they frightened me. In that form he lifted me into the air and tossed me over the side. I fell far, and fast. I passed through the clouds of ice; it was amazing I didn't freeze on the way down. I'm lucky to have survived that alone! I passed through them and reached the fastest speed I could. I was still about a mile form the ground. I used my magic to slow myself down as much as I could, but it still wasn't enough. I crashed into the ground with a shield of light around me. I've been trapped on this island ever since.
"I noticed over time that Zeal fell, and a huge creature, Lavos presumably, had a lot to do with it. Does he still exist in your time?"
"Yes and no," Crono answered, "he's alive in the millennium, but dead in nineteen ninety-nine."
"How?" Roland asked. Crono told the entire story of him finding Marle and all the way until he killed Lavos. Roland was surprised to learn that Crono had actually been dead for almost two days. As well as that Marle girl too. Roland felt a sudden wave of new depression wash over him. When he'd been taken away his son was only a little boy. He'd barely known how to form words. His first steps had only been a few years prior. The Princess Nadia was still the cute little girl without a mother. And Lucca didn't even like science. He'd missed his son's whole childhood. All of it. He'd missed the first tooth pull, knee scrapings, and the tantrums. He even missed the tantrums. His shoulders sagged and he realized he'd missed it all. Well, he wouldn't miss any more. "You actually killed Lavos? The Lavos?" Roland asked, not believing that anybody could.
"Yes, with Frog and Janus over here."
"Amazing, simply amazing. Lavos had the power and the smarts to thwart Cameron's plans. Lavos. I never would've imagined that he would've been evil. He helped Zeal so much."
"He possessed my mother and destroyed the land of Zeal with his almighty powers," Janus informed. "He took away my sister and killed millions. How great do you think he is now?"
Roland pondered this for a moment. "I understand, and that is quite awful. Let me assure you, your enemies are my enemies." Janus just kept giving a cold stare that would make any normal man feel uncomfortable.
"You said I have the fighting instinct, what did you mean by that?" Crono asked.
"You were blessed from birth with the ability to fight. It's been in our family for generations. There are always four Bearers of Light. If one of them dies, the next strongest person in the world gets the powers, even if that man lives in some secluded rainforest and has no idea what the powers are. He'll be granted them. Now, I have no clue who the other three are."
"What are these powers? What do they look like?" Crono asked. Roland nodded his head and raise his right hand. IN the palm of it a small white orb began to grow and pulsate. the bigger it got the brighter it became. Little bands of electricity encompassed it, and flew around it like a witch on a broom. Once it got to the size of his hand he threw it to the other side of the room, it stopped just short of the straw bed.
"Now, that is one of the weakest spells I can cast. That right there is powerful enough to destroy a powerful magi. Not only destroy him, but disintegrate him. Not even ashes would survive. That ball of light is extremely powerful, anybody who wields this kind of power needs to be an honorable person. Or the consequences could nearly destroy the world.
"Each father passes down the power to his son when the son matures. Generally around the age of sixteen. I never had the time to train you, I was taken from you before I could start. But, I fell you've made up for it since then."
"You're going to pass it on?"
"Nope," he said without any emotion. Crono looked almost hurt at the curtness of it.
"You are undoubtedly an unbelievable fighter. I feel that you will surpass me by many miles. You might even be the best there ever was. But still, I won't pass it on yet."
"But you said--"
"I know what I said, now here are my reasons. If I give it to you now, when you might not be psychologically ready for it, you could use it for selfish purposes. The kind of man it takes to wield The Light is a man who will lay down his life for any cause that would help humanity. Whether a threat form Cameron, or Lavos, you must be willing to die just to save other people. No matter whether you want to or not." Crono remembered his selfish acts back in the future. How he had not wanted to kill Anoctium because it didn't affect him. He lowered his head and then remembered something.
"Dad, I've had some weird powers with my magic lately. I've recently cast some odd spells that no one has seen before."
"Like?" he asked, genuinely interested.
"Well, I'll show you. Let's go outside."
"All right, but wear one of my skins, it's much to cold for summer clothes." Crono slipped on a bear coat and trotted outside to meet his father and Janus. "Now what did you want to show me?"
"This," Crono answered. He concentrated and slowly rose into the air, he raised his left hand and waited for the magic to gather its energy. That always took about fifteen seconds. He then threw his arm forward like he was pitching a ball and a ball of lightning surged forth and flew into a nearby mountain making a bright explosion that caused them to shield their eyes. When it was over they looked at a huge black mark on the side of a mountain. Crono, still in the air, threw his hands above his head and a low hum came out of his mouth. Slowly, about fifteen yards in front of them, a huge column of Luminare shot out of the ground. Janus and Roland covered their eyes and took a few steps back until they hit the wall of the hut. When it faded they saw Crono lying on the ground, totally out of breath.
"Bring him inside, I'll get him some more blankets, and hurry up. If any sweat dries on him he might get sick," Roland ordered.
Crono fell asleep in about five minutes after being carried inside. He was just vaguely aware of having been moved by Janus. Those two spells, consecutively, really took a toll on his body. He was pale, and very weak. He shivered and slept.
"What were those? Even I've never seen anything that strong," Janus asked.
"That, my blue haired friend, was great improvisation." Janus gave a slight hint of interest. "You see, those were two very common magic spells cast by a Light Bearer, he was just acting out instinct."
"So if he is acting out the magics, why don't you give him the powers?"
"I've got to make sure he is ready. I will test him, train him, and when the time is right I will pass them on, just not now."
"Well, if those are just common spells, and Crono is to whipped, how great are these powers?"
"Much greater than any shadow!" Roland retorted. Janus's eyes showed a hint of surprise, but then went back to normal anti-emotion. "Yes, I can read your mind, and I know all about your powers. Do you think I would let anybody in my house without knowing who they are first? I know who you are, Magus, and I saw you when you were this high." He lowered his hand to the floor, perfectly parallel to it, showing three feet high. Janus gave no response. "The powers Crono is trying to recreate are much stronger than one single element. His body is trying to do something that it simply doesn't have the capacity to do yet, but he will learn. For Crono to even be able to cast the spells means he is far and above anything I've ever heard of. Even when my Dad gave me my powers it took me almost two days just to activate them. I'd never had any magical experience. Crono, on the other hand, has so much more potential, I want him to be the best. If I give the powers too early, it might stifle how good he gets."
Janus walked off to the other end of the hut and sat down. He wished he had brought his cloak along with him. He stared down at his prosthetic leg. His lip curled in anger. He knew who'd beaten him. He knew. And only a few people in history have ever gotten the best of Janus.
Roland walked over to the kitchen area and fixed himself some tea. He sat down on the rocker and slowly sipped it. He knew he was going to be traveling with Crono on his quest. He read Crono's mind, skipping over the personal details, and got to the part he really wanted to see. His wife. She had obviously aged, but was beautiful as ever. He sighed and rocked back and forth. When Crono awoke they would go back to his friends and find that last person, Ayla. He also read Janus's mind and found Janus was extremely strong. Roland was amazed at the powers Janus wielded, after seeing him as a very young boy he never thought Janus would develop any powers. And look at him now. The boy had become a man. He looked at his son, and then realized he couldn't keep the powers from Crono. His body was trying to use the powers, even though they weren't there. It's like trying to lift three hundred pounds when you can barely bench one hundred. Roland wanted to give the powers, but his son had to be ready. But the thought kept nagging at him: If Crono's body keeps trying to use the powers his body might die. Overuse of those instincts might tire him to a point of no return. He would give Crono some minor tests, but not many. Crono needed those powers or he might die.
Ayla woke early on a summer day. She yawned and cracked her neck. Her muscles felt good, like she could run forever. Outside of the hut it was very cold. There was a small lining of white stuff on the ground that she'd named snow, from what the people in Zeal had called it. It was starting to fall from the sky again, and she knew that they would have to journey to the caves in the southern forests, where the Reptite lair had been. She knew they would probably migrate tomorrow, it was already much to cold to stay much longer. The monsters were thinning out, and the food was dying off. Many plants couldn't sustain life and Ayla didn't know what they would do for food. The only animals that didn't seem like they were dying were the smaller ones. the rabbits, the deer. She knew that they would be much too small for everybody, but it was all that was left.
She ambled down the trail and noticed something weird by the volcanoes to the East. It looked like a Dactyl, but they were almost all dead. It flew, but somehow it looked different. It had the winged body, but the head was grotesque. She then realized it carried something in its mouth, she couldn't tell what. It was too far away, one thing she did know was that she didn't like it one bit.
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