https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw4Kkw-huQUMy wish is onlyto recover your heart.You are Gaius, a Water Mage from the Magical Kingom of Zeal and you are very far from home. You and Princess Schala, along with your new friends Chrono, Marle and Lucca, have spent a day in Arris Dome, the last refuge of mankind in this dark, destroyed future you all have found yourselves in. In your time here, you helped people, learned much, and acquired new weapons for yourself and the Princess, your love.You were finally on the way to the purpose of your visit here, to see for yourself a video ostensibly showing Lavos, your God of Magic, bringing ruin to the world. Lucca, the genius engineer, was leading you and your love underground while Chrono and Marle had gone ahead to clear the way. Despite this, four giant mutant rats blocked your way, and the woman that you loved, Lavos bless her pure heart, had expressed misgivings about ending their lives. You didn't share her aversion, and while you were sure she wouldn't stop you if you decided to ignore her hesitant objection, charge ahead and slaughter these rats by yourself, it would be worth it to try and convince her. It would always be worth it to convince her of such things, a small part of you whispered, and it would never be hard at all.Ignoring the small, red pairs of eyes in the darkness ahead, you turned around - was that a fifth pair of red eyes that you saw out of the corner of your eye as you did? - and looked her in the eyes as you spoke. "We have killed living beings before, my love." you gently reminded her. "The sea serpents in the underwater passage and that large caterpillar that was attacking Chrono, Marle and Lucca when we first met them." She had not objected then and you felt that it would be important to get to the reason for that.She shrunk from your sight, averted her gaze and nervously bit her lip. "That... that was different. We were being chased by those robots and the serpents attacked y... they attacked us. You got hurt because of me... because I..." she swallowed anxiously.You closed the distance to her and took her palms in yours. "I would have done that a hundred times over. I meant what I said back then. We did better in our second battle, didn't we?"Her wonderful emerald green eyes returned to yours. She blinked slowly and nodded. "We did. But that was different. We fought these monsters in self-defence, in order to stop them from hurting y... us, or others. We didn't... we didn't invade their home for our own selfish desires. Life is precious. Even an animal's life has value. We should not be so quick to take it."
Of course. She saw all life as valuable and wouldn't accept killing without a good reason. So then you'd have to give her a good reason. "Rats are pests, they eat stored food and carry diseases. And these giant... mutant rats are even more dangerous. They could hurt the people of the dome too, eat their first crops or endanger one of the children from yesterday. They are a threat. Wouldn't it be better if we stopped them before they could endanger the people we wanted to help?""Your boyfriend's right Schala. These are rats, they're just annoying pests. We have to kill them wherever we find them or they multiply and infest everything and... ugh, I don't even want to think about it!" Lucca, still staring at the darkness down the sights of her gun, decided to add her own thoughts and you weren't sure at all if she was being helpful."So they have to die? Is there truly no other way?" Schala addressed no one in particular with her questions.You opened your mouth, but it was Lucca who answered first. "Unless you can lead them away from the Dome with a song and a dance like the pied piper of Porre, then no, there is no other way. Hurry up and decide that we're going to kill them you two, I can see them multiplying while you're flirting and I'm about to start shooting with or without you!" The pied what? No, that wasn't important. You glared at the back of her helmet for a moment, though she couldn't see you. She was not helping convince your love at all. But she was right about one thing, even if she could have put it more diplomatically. "There is no other way." you declared.Your love closed her eyes and her bosom rose and fell as she sighed. "Then... please don't make them suffer. Haste!" Your perception of time instantly slowed down when she cast her spell and you tore away from her. There was not a moment to lose, you knew how she felt about the time she was giving you with her magic. You didn't even have to think about her request, you were no sadist. You'd do your best to end this quickly.As Lucca had said, the rats had multiplied while you were talking. Was that a dozen? More? You didn't have time for an accurate count. The first rat's skull was crushed instantly when you slammed the top of your staff on it. The second barely had the time to move before you struck its head with the bottom and it stopped moving entirely. A shot echoed in the tunnel and a third rat fell over. These animals had never encountered an enemy like this - were there even any predators alive in this future? You had yet to see a single cat, normal or otherwise - and their limited intelligence didn't allow them to adapt. The rest of them chose to fight, not flight, and they came at you in a swarm. Two more died in the same way and just as easily as the first few had, but there were many more left. You dodged their assault as best you could, but you couldn't dodge everything. Sharp teeth left long gashes on your lower leg.
There was a lull in the action. You caught your breath and considered if you should maybe change your approach, when the tunnel lit up and a long tongue of flame engulfed the bulk of the remaining rats. As the heat rose, you saw one last rat try to flee, only for you to dash and cut its attempt short with a final swing of your staff. The heat receded, leaving smoking rat corpses all over. The smell, already, vaguely unpleasant, was now oppressively foul with the addition of the nauseating odour of charred fur and sizzling meat. You looked around. No movement remained, all the rats were gone. Lucca laughed maniacally while smoke came up from a device on her wrist. Schala's nose was wrinkled in disgust, but that did not last long before she regained her composure and ended her spell. Lucca's laughter accelerated in your ears. It was momentarily disorienting.Lucca stopped laughing, cleared her throat and looked first at you, then at Schala. "I hate rats." she explained sheepishly. "You get engrossed in your work, forget a sandwich overnight and they're more than happy to put their dirty paws all over your plate and take it. Then you wonder why your latest project isn't working, only to take it apart and discover that they somehow got in and chewed on all the cables! You can't see or hear them but you know they're under the floor and in the walls. They're in the walls!" She had been gathering steam as she spoke, but now abruptly stopped, adjusted her glasses and dry coughed. "Ahem. I should make a rat catcher robot when I find the time. Studying the wrecks we made here has given me some ideas. Come on, Chrono and Marle are waiting!"She went ahead without waiting for your response. You exchanged a concerned look with Schala and shrugged, but her gaze wandered down, then back up and lingered at you, still full with concern. "You're bleeding. Here, let me help." she offered for the second time today, then immediately kneeled in front of you and extended her hand towards your calf.Her ministrations would definitely be welcome, if likely not quite as pleasant as the last time, but they were unnecessary. This wound wasn't hindering you, but it was still large enough to be potentially concerning, especially considering a possible infection. And... Lucca was watching. "Cure." you cast and the wound closed mere moments before the tips of her slender fingers and her long sleeves touched you to wipe the blood away."Oh..." Her voice sounded passionless. She must have been disappointed at her inability to help. You crouched down in front of her, placed your hands on the sides of her face and guided her lips to yours with a hunger that had been growing since your brief time in that sealed room.
"Thank you. I love you so much it's unreal." you whispered when you finally pulled back, gazing at her gorgeous, half-closed eyes. "Now, let's go with Lucca." you added and rose reluctantly."Um... yes..." she agreed and graciously stood up after you. Lucca had stopped and was staring at you with a grin but she didn't comment before she turned around and led you through the tunnels. The smell of the scorched rats slowly waned after you passed them and you began breathing more easily, relatively, now that you were only breathing the unpleasantly stale subterranean air. The beam of light emitted from her helmet was the only illumination available, but your surroundings remained the same: Pipes, rust, dust and dirt, with the occasional small robot wreck. No other rats appeared on your way. You had no idea if that was because you had killed all of them in the area or because you had scared them away.You were surprised when Lucca abruptly stopped at a seemingly unimportant fork in the road, a small room with a black, smooth panel of glass on the far wall with a bunch of buttons below it, resting between two open doors. "Would you guys believe we had to chase a rat on the rafters to get the password we needed here?" she asked you. You exchanged a look with Schala, then shrugged. After your experiences these past days, nothing seemed too far fetched to believe. Lucca chuckled at your nonchalance. "This way." she added and moved through the right door.You both followed her into a massive, confusing room. She went through a winding path that brought you gradually closer to the other end, slowly accelerating her pace and putting some distance between her and you as she neared. "The Info Center is there." she pointed out. Muffled voices were coming from a closed door, but you couldn't tell what they were saying and they stopped when Lucca opened it, letting light wash over you and revealing what was inside.The room itself was in a better condition than anything else you had seen underground. A harsh, white light shone down from above. A large flat, glass panel dominated the far wall, similar in making to the one in the room where Lucca had stopped earlier. Chrono was cross-legged on the floor with his back turned to you. Marle was sitting in front of him, on a metal bench with her legs dangling over its edge. She cheerily waved. "Hey Lucca! Hey guys! You're here earlier than we thought."Lucca chuckled again as she crossed the threshold, with you and Schala following some distance behind her. "Yeah, the ancient lovers didn't take their sweet time this - wait, Marle, where are you sitting?! Don't you remember what happened last time you began pressing random buttons?" She had began by teasing you - your love's cheeks were faintly red again - but ended up yelling at Marle, who didn't seem all that bothered by it.
Marle hopped off that bench, revealing a mess of buttons on its surface. "It's not like it was turned on, what's the worse that could happen?" she asked as she moved to the side.Lucca groaned. "You did not just say that..." Chrono scrambled out of her way as she marched to that bench and began pressing buttons, seemingly at random. The glass panel lit up and began displaying a number of colourful, moving icons and words in a language you couldn't read. "It doesn't look like there's anything wrong with it." she announced. "By the way, weren't you two supposed to make sure the way is clear?"Marle put her finger on her chin and looked at Chrono with a puzzled expression. "But we did? There was nothing dangerous on the way.""Hmmm, this can only mean the rats were laying in ambush for the great Lucca and those who escorted her. Mwahahahaha! They will learn to fear me!" Lucca declared, while fiddling with the controls of that machine, but it was obvious her heart wasn't entirely in her proclamation.Seeing that Lucca did not intend to elaborate, Marle looked at you quizzically. "She burned them." you provided helpfully.Marle did not have the time to ask for more. "It's ready. Satellite footage of the Day of Lavos. A visual record from 1999AD." Lucca stated somberly while her hands hovered over the mass of buttons. "Are you ready?" she asked with her back turned to you. Chrono and Marle's expressions darkened immediately."No..." Schala whispered from next to you.You put your hand underneath her long hair and gently rubbed her shoulder blade. "You don't have to do this if you won't want to." you reassured her."No, I... I won't leave your side!" she answered, her voice clear.You moved your hand to her shoulder and pulled her close to you. She leaned in to you, trembling. You felt her hand creep across your waist and it served to calm down your own growing apprehension. "We're ready." you stated simply.No one else said anything. Lucca pressed a button and the panel changed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGBOp5Ow5MMThe picture distorted itself for a few second, then resolved to show green grasslands and forests from high above with a desert to the south. Multiple Domes were in the picture, bright and pristine and well-maintained. The image darkened. A long, fiery gash spread on the ground and erupted into a crater. Molten boulders rose slowly and hovered, as if gravity had stopped working for them and reversed itself in that area. Then a monster ascended leisurely. A titanic red beast, with no eyes, a beak and a body covered in spikes. On its moment of highest ascent, it launched... something from its body and fire began raining down from the heavens. The picture panned to show more of this... fire, this destruction, then flickered and ended. The world burned. The world burned.How many... Millions? More? Your mind struggled to comprehend. Your mouth was dry. But there was one question on the tip of your tongue. "How... do you know this is Lavos?" you finally found the words and asked with a hoarse voice."There is a second video. The final log of the Kingdom's Central Command, and footage from a high orbit geostationary satellite." Lucca answered gravely, an answer that you only half understood, but there was no time for questions before she pressed a button, causing the panel to change once again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNznkEQIZb8Three uniformed men were standing on a room similar to the one you were standing, with a machine - computer, Lucca had called it? - similar to the one in front of you. One was older than the two, with a more elaborate uniform and a calmer demeanour. He was in front of a bench like the one Lucca was using, while the others stood in attention closer to the glass panel."Direct attack on Truce!!" one of the younger soldiers shouted, his voice unsteady."Calm down! How does it look down there?" the officer in charge queried.The picture shifted. It now showed what could only be a map of the world. Parts of it were recognizable from the video before. Red lights blipped all over, labeled in that language you couldn't read. Alarms began blaring. The view returned to the room with the soldiers."Porre... Choras... Medina...! Everything's been destroyed!!" the young soldier exclaimed. His voice broke between his words. The officer pressed his hands on the bench. The soldier turned around to address his superior. "Director! We're under attack!" he yelled frantically. Director? Like Director Doan?"Take cover in the ShelterDome!" the Director remained calm and collected as he delivered his order.The two men dashed away, but paused at the entrance and looked at the Director's back. "Director! Sir, you must come with us!" they implored him.A part of the roof collapsed. "We're out of time! Get moving!!" the Director repeated his orders, making no move to leave himself.More pieces of the ceiling fell down. "Y-yes, sir!" the soldiers saluted and hastily retreated.The Director was left alone, never losing his composure as the room collapsed around him and he uttered his final word. "Lavos..."The room went dark, and the picture changed. The sphere of the world, from much higher than before, turning red with fire, then gradually gray and lifeless. The image went black and the room seemed to darken with it.
"Director...?" you asked with some difficulty."We believe he was Doan's ancestor. We didn't tell him." Lucca explained."And Truce..." you uttered, still having difficulty with finding the words you needed. You knew that name."It's our Kingdom's capital. The city we're from. Porre is a rich, mercantile town, the Kingdom's second largest. Choras..." Lucca began explaining, but her voice failed and she uncharacteristically stopped."Choras is a small, quiet seaside resort village. It's pretty. We went there once with my parents when I was little..." Marle supplemented Lucca's explanation, but her voice broke and she too fell silent.Lucca spoke again. "Medina is the last village of the Mystics. All of them exist in our time. All of them...""...gone." you completed her sentence. A vice was gripping your heart. You struggled to imagine the loss they must feel. What if the names of the video had been Enhasa, or Kajar, the names of the cities you knew? What if the map had been the familiar sight of the Kingdom of Zeal? Your mind refused to cooperate and provide you the answer to these questions. You looked down, at the sweet girl in your arms and she looked up to meet your eyes at the same time. Tears were silently running down her face. She was breathing sharply and so were you, you abruptly realized. Your breath was uneasy.You looked away from her, from everyone. Staring at a blank wall, you confronted the one question you had been trying to avoid. Lavos, your God of Magic. He had given the Enlightened Ones, the people of your Kingdom, the gift of Magic. The paradise above the clouds you had lived for all your life could not have existed without him. Your mother gave him praise for letting her help people with her healing magic. Your father thanked him for the strength to protect what was important to him. You had never questioned your faith in your God before you found yourself in this future. Even Schala's revelations about the Mammon Machine that drew from his power, confirming the unease you had felt emanating from it or her own cryptic disquiet had not been enough to shake your faith. But now...What did you think about the monster that destroyed the world?>This isn't your God. It's a monster that the Earthbound named after the real Lavos.>This is your God, but... maybe he had a reason for doing what he did?>This is the real Lavos and he must be stopped. But... he's a God. How can you kill a God?>What you thought was a God had been just a monster all along. Your faith had been misplaced. >Other (write-in)Party information: https://www.worldanvil.com/w/frozen-moment-chronoqmThread archive: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=ChronoQMTwitter: https://twitter.com/ChronoQm
>>5637229>What you thought was a God had been just a monster all along. Your faith had been misplaced.
>>5637229>This is the real Lavos and he must be stopped. But... he's a God. How can you kill a God?
>>5637229Between this recording and the Mammon machine there is little room to maneuver, Lavos is a world destroying entity, and for all its power it looks too tangible to be called a God.It must be stopped, and for that we need to learn more about it. Perhaps even discern its motivations, if it has any.
>>5637229>This is the real Lavos and he must be stopped. But... he's a God. How can you kill a God?An evil god is still a god
>>5637229>This is the real Lavos and he must be stopped. But... he's a God. How can you kill a God?If the Mammon Machine can reach it, then mortals can affect it. If we can affect it, we can kill it.also>>5637228Where's this from, OP? It feels familiar
>>5637229>>What you thought was a God had been just a monster all along. Your faith had been misplaced.
>>5637357It's a certain famous bad ending, trimmed a little to fit.
>>5637382Wow, I had no memory of that ever existing. It has been a while since I lost that fight, I guess
>>5637229>>This is the real Lavos and he must be stopped. But... he's a God. How can you kill a God?
>>5638864We must get Sunder and Keening to destroy Lavos
>>5638864The thread of prophecy will be severed
Sorry for the delay once again folks, last week was unexpectedly bad. It's funny how quickly I'm proven wrong whenever I start thinking I'm beginning to get my life back in order. Update is slowly coming together, will probably be done in the next few days.
>>5644450Null sweat OP, stay safe and good fortune to you!
>>5644450Stay strong QM
>What you thought was a God had been just a monster all along. Your faith had been misplaced.>>5637257>>5637302 (I assumed your vote falls under this)>>5637362>>5637392>This is the real Lavos and he must be stopped. But... he's a God. How can you kill a God?>>5637288>>5637322>>5637357>>5637877>>5638717What a grand and intoxicating innocence.Finally, done...
https://music.mega64.net/ct/205.mp3Lavos was an evil, world destroying entity. Between this recording and the effects of the Mammon Machine, there could be no doubt anymore. And there was one more thing that you only now realized. The whisper inside your head that had offered you power, the one that you had felt was related to the Mammon Machine even before Schala had confirmed that she had been hearing it too ever since she first turned it on... it was Lavos, wasn't it? He had offered you power, and you had rejected it. But why? No, you had no doubts about you rejecting that offer, but why would he make such an offer to you in the first place? You understood why Schala would draw the attention of a god, she was amazing in more ways than she imagined, and her mother was the Queen, if Schala's speculation had been correct and her mother had indeed heard that voice. But you had no illusions about yourself. What made you important enough to earn a god's direct attention? It was a question you couldn't answer right now, and perhaps never could. But there was a more immediately useful question, one that your new friends would certainly know about. "What do you plan to do now?" you asked them."We're going to defeat Lavos and prevent the end of the world!" Marle replied instantly and Schala quivered in your arms.After a moment, she stepped out of your embrace. "You can't. It is futile. The future cannot be changed..." she delivered in a quiet but steady voice, the blue-haired princess staring at the blonde.Marle stepped forward and tenderly took your love's hands in hers. "Don't lose hope Schala!" she said warmly. "Your future is our past and the past can be changed. We've already done it! Twice! We can change history again, just like we did when Chrono saved me!" Don't lose hope... this was what the man in your dream had said as well. It was something easier said than done when faced with the enormity of this task.
"Chrono wouldn't have changed anything without the great Lucca..." Lucca grumbled "but Marle is broadly correct. And the plan that you asked for..." she adjusted her glasses and started pressing buttons, bringing the screen to life again. It settled on the image of a map, though one that was unfamiliar and vastly different to the one from before, both in colour and in shape. "This is the world right now. A few satellites are still active and they didn't need too much coaxing to reveal their secrets. We're right here, in Arris Dome, in the middle of the northern continent. We three arrived from the Present through a Time Gate in Bangor Dome to the southwest. It was empty with nothing of interest, except for a sealed door like the one opened by your Pendant. Trann Dome to its south was inhabited by a few hidden people who were even more desperate than those here. We... couldn't do anything to help them." She adjusted her glasses again and continued after a brief pause. "I detected a similar kind of energy as the one from the Gate I studied emanating from Proto Dome to the east, so there must be another one there. This was our next stop before we met you two, it should lead us back to the Present. Where did you say the Gate you arrived from was?""A cave on the foot of that snowy mountain north of Keeper's Dome, on that island in the center. Balthazar called the mountain Death Peak when I spoke to him and his Nu servant." you answered.Lucca fiddled with the machinery in front of her, causing the image to pan to the location you had indicated, then scratched her temple. "Hmmmm... strange. There's nothing there. Your Gate must have closed. I wonder why... I'd like to study that cave and see if there's some residue that can tell me why it's the only one that didn't stay open." Lucca turned to look at Chrono, who frowned at her. "...some other day." she added. "Our only choice now is Proto Dome."Schala remained deathly silent through all this and you stole a look at the back of her unmoving head, before your eyes returned to Lucca. "Err, if that Gate is still open, why not return to the Present the way you came, through Bangor Dome? It should be easier to reach and we can open that other door while we're at it, Balthazar might have left something for Schala there too." you asked in turn."We can't go back there, the guards and the Chancellor will be waiting for us. They chased us to the gate after I busted Crono out of prison when he was set to be executed for kidnapping Princess Nadia here. Did we tell you that he was found innocent?" Lucca asked and you nodded. They had indeed told you that, though it was the first time you heard the crime he had been found guilty for. Almost executed for kidnapping a Princess? You looked back at your love, the blue-haired Princess who had disappeared from the Kingdom with you. You pushed that thought back to the depths of your mind. It was a problem for the future... the past... for later.
Your gaze returned to the screen and you squinted your eyes, trying to calculate distances based on the ground you had covered the other day before you asked your next question. "You plan to walk to Proto Dome through those ruins to the north? It would take-""Days." Lucca answered before you had even finished. "Luckily, Director Doan gave us these!" she dug through her satchel and produced a single key, grinning widely as it dangled from her hand. "The key to an abandoned jetbike in the ruins. I'll repair it and then we'll ride it the rest of the way." She put the key back in her satchel, adjusted her glasses again and inspected first Schala, then you. "I hope it seats five..." she finished.Lucca had covered their immediate plan, how they would return to their time. You couldn't think of anything else to ask about that. You swallowed your apprehension and spoke for one more time. "How... how do you plan to change the future? How do you plan to defeat Lavos? He's a god! How can you kill a god?" Your eyes had returned to Schala without you realizing it, who rubbed her wrists up and down as you spoke. You should accept that you can't, a part of you whispered in answer, like she has. It would be naive to think that you could oppose a god's designs."We can do this together, the five of us!" Marle offered, with her arms spread wide to encompass you all. Chrono nodded and pumped his fist. You wished you could share their optimism.Lucca rolled her eyes at all of you. "There are no gods. Lavos is just a big, powerful monster and monsters can be killed. But you asked how and the truth is... that we don't know. Yet. We would look for more information on it once we returned to the Present, try and find a weakness, but we found something even better now." She grinned. "You two! You know of it, you worship it, you can use magic! There has to be something we can use against it in what you know, and if you help us in the fight, we'll win for sure!"Schala looked at you timidly, then quickly looked away and crossed her arms protectively over her chest. It was obvious that her belief that it was futile hadn't changed. What about you? What would you do now? You'd tell them what you knew about him, that much was certain. But more than that...>You couldn't help them more. You wanted to get back home, that was more important than a doomed effort to oppose a god.>You'd help them fight Lavos if it was necessary to prevent this future. Perhaps it wasn't as hopeless as it seemed. And you'd depart immediately after this discussion, you had spent more than enough time here already.>You'd offer to help them fight Lavos, but you'd also offer to enchant items for them together with Schala.>Actually, you and Schala had briefly discussed something before. You might be able to teach them magic...>Other (Write-in)
>>5648544>You'd offer to help them fight Lavos, but you'd also offer to enchant items for them together with Schala.>Actually, you and Schala had briefly discussed something before. You might be able to teach them magic...
>>5648544>>Actually, you and Schala had briefly discussed something before. You might be able to teach them magic...
>>5648544>Actually, you and Schala had briefly discussed something before. You might be able to teach them magic...
>>5648544>You'd help them fight Lavos if it was necessary to prevent this future. Perhaps it wasn't as hopeless as it seemed. And you'd depart immediately after this discussion, you had spent more than enough time here already.Fuck Lavos. All my homies hate Lavos. Let's get out of here and find a way to stab him in the face properly. It's only hopeless if we lose hope, and we don't like losing.also,>Actually, you and Schala had briefly discussed something before. You might be able to teach them magic...But not here. Magic is connected to nature and feelings, and a desolated land where almost all nature and hope has been destroyed is no place to learn it.
>>5648544>You'd offer to help them fight Lavos, but you'd also offer to enchant items for them together with Schala.
>>5648544>You'd help them fight Lavos if it was necessary to prevent this future. Perhaps it wasn't as hopeless as it seemed. And you'd depart immediately after this discussion, you had spent more than enough time here already.We will help them on their quest.>help them with enchanting and magicThis too but when opportunity arises, we’ve been putting things off enough and should het a move on.Also>Hug Schala and reassure herWe’ve already in the last few days experienced things weird and amazing beyond comprehension, who’s to say what paths lay ahead of us? And in the meantime we will be making the most of our present - together. Isn’t that the most any mortal can ask for?
>>5648544>You'd offer to help them fight Lavos, but you'd also offer to enchant items for them together with Schala.>Actually, you and Schala had briefly discussed something before. You might be able to teach them magic...>Hug Schala and reassure her
>>5648544>>5648553Actually, I'll change my vote to supporting >>5648891
>You'd offer to help them fight Lavos, but you'd also offer to enchant items for them together with Schala.>Actually, you and Schala had briefly discussed something before. You might be able to teach them magic...>>5648545>Actually, you and Schala had briefly discussed something before. You might be able to teach them magic..>>5648550>>5648566>You'd help them fight Lavos if it was necessary to prevent this future. Perhaps it wasn't as hopeless as it seemed. And you'd depart immediately after this discussion, you had spent more than enough time here already.>Actually, you and Schala had briefly discussed something before. You might be able to teach them magic...>>5648859>You'd offer to help them fight Lavos, but you'd also offer to enchant items for them together with Schala.>>5648876>You'd help them fight Lavos if it was necessary to prevent this future. Perhaps it wasn't as hopeless as it seemed. And you'd depart immediately after this discussion, you had spent more than enough time here already.>help them with enchanting and magic>Hug Schala and reassure her>>5648891>>5649061>>5649102>You'd offer to help them fight Lavos, but you'd also offer to enchant items for them together with Schala.>Actually, you and Schala had briefly discussed something before. You might be able to teach them magic...>Hug Schala and reassure her>>5649015>>5649080The vote was a bit of a mess, but the general sentiment is clear.It's been a busy week. Some potentially good news is that I did well in a couple interviews and if one of the offers is good enough, this summer should be significantly better.
Lucca was leaning forward, eagerly waiting for your response. Marle's smile grew a little forced as her eyes darted between you and Schala. Chrono was sitting cross-armed. Not just Lucca, they were all waiting for your response. They would wait a little longer. There was one more person in the room and she needed you.Schala was standing motionless, still averting her eyes, still hugging herself protectively. She too was waiting for your response, but you still surprised her when you closed the distance with a single step and embraced her, wrapping one of your arms securely around her back and cradling the back of her head with the other. She inhaled sharply and tensed as you held her, a warm, fragile little bird, more precious than anything in the world. "It's only hopeless if we lose hope. Everything will be alright. The world can be saved, you can be saved." you whispered in her ear.Her arms, that had served as a small barrier between the two of you, relaxed and fell at her sides while you spoke. "How can you believe that?" she asked you earnestly."I have to." you declared. You had learned that the world's fate was to be ruined, your kingdom's fate was to be lost and forgotten, your love's fate was to perish. You refused to accept it. And if Lavos was the one responsible, god or not, you would find a way to make him pay. But those would not be the right words to reassure her. "After the things we experienced in the last few days, how can I not? We've been given a chance to change the future, it can't have been in vain. And in the meantime, we'll be making the most of our present, together. Can we ask for more?"She let her head rest on your shoulder and slowly exhaled, while her arms slowly crept up your back. She clung to you firmly when she delivered her answer. "...no. We can't."You held each other tight like this, until someone dry-coughed behind you and she began to withdraw. It had been too long, and yet not nearly long enough... As you separated, her hand sought your palm and your fingers interlocked. Her eyes were calm. When you turned to address the others, you spoke for the both of you. "We'll help you in your quest, in any way we can. We'll tell you what we know, fight Lavos if it's necessary..." Chrono, Marle and Lucca were visibly relieved when they heard you. The delay must have caused them to worry. Chrono inclined his head at your offer to fight together. Lucca's still raised fist gave away the culprit for your embrace's interruption, but you couldn't. "We'll enchant items for you when we can, and Schala and I might be able to teach you magic..." you added, though this last offer did not have the impact that you expected.
"Lavos! Tell me everything! What is it, where did it come from, what does it want, why did it wake up in 1999AG and drain the world of life, why do you worship it?" Lucca failed to contain her excitement over the new information you had promised. Marle glared at her for a moment but said nothing.You thought for a moment before you began to address her barrage of questions. "I, err, should start at the beginning. In our time, the world is covered in ice-""You've already told us that! How is Lavos related?" Lucca impatiently interrupted you. You frowned but chose to ignore her and continue your recitation instead. "It wasn't always so. Myths tell of a long bygone era, when the surface was green with plants as far as the eye could see, beasts roamed and fought a united humanity for supremacy-""Did Lavos cause the Ice Age?" Lucca cut you off again with another question.You couldn't keep your annoyance out of your voice. "No he didn't. It was the opposite. Lavos, God of Magic, had always been sleeping underground, but when saw humanity in peril he revealed his presence, gave us the immense fire of civilization and helped us defeat the beasts that were our enemies. When the world was at peace and the cold grew, he gave the gift of magic to those worthy of it, the Enlightened Ones so they could use it to reach heights unknown and create a paradise above the clouds, the Magical Kingdom of Zeal.""Um... Gaius? I don't think reciting scripture is going to help, and I... I have some doubts about its accuracy as well." Schala cautiously spoke up from next to you. You had never doubted what you had been taught before now, but now you had been forced to accept that Lavos was not the benevolent god you had believed he was. What else was a lie, deliberate or otherwise?Lucca crossed her arms. "It at least explains why you worship it, but it tells us nothing about its weaknesses, or its motives. Why would a monster masquerading as a god to help humanity decide to wake up thousands of years later and kill everything? Hmmmm, maybe it had something to do with what happened to your kingdom? There's no mention of it on any book I've ever read. Was it revenge for the loss of its faithful? But if so, why not sooner... It would help if we knew why Zeal disappeared, but you two lived while your kingdom prospered, you wouldn't know anything..." Lucca speculated aloud."Actually, I, err... think we may have come from just a few weeks or months before the kingdom's fall. Balthazar came from a little further in the future than us and he told me that there was... will be a disaster when the Ocean Palace is completed. I think this is what ends the era of Zeal." and the life of your love, you did not say aloud. You glanced sideways at her just in time to notice her biting her lip uncomfortably."Aha!" Lucca exclaimed. "I knew there was more to the story you told Mr. Whitwell. Who exactly is Balthazar? Isn't he insane?"
"Yes, he really had been driven mad by regret. I was able to restore his sanity with my magic, but only briefly. Balthazar was a respected wise man in our time, the architect of the Ocean Palace. He was called the Guru of Reason, one of the three Gurus of our kingdom. The others were Gaspar, Guru of Time and Melchior, Guru of Life. We think that Melchior ended up in your time and is the same Melchior that Marle knew as a humble weaponsmith." you explained."He tried to buy my Pendant in the Millennial Fair but didn't insist when we refused. It must have reminded him of home..." Marle offered one more tidbit of information about the man you knew as the Guru of Life. You had to wonder how he'd react when he saw Schala again.Lucca nodded after Marle was done speaking. "And what's this Ocean Palace that causes the end of Zeal?" she asked once again.You turned, exchanged a look with Schala and gently squeezed her hand in encouragement. This involved her more than you. "Um... it's... that is..." she hesitated, blinked slowly and tried again. "The ritual arrays that allow the islands to float are powered by the Sun Stone, a stone that absorbs and stores the brilliant energy of the sun. The Sun Stone was slowly being drained with our use, we needed an alternative." She took a deep breath before continuing. "Seven years ago, a cave leading to the resting place of Lavos was located on the bottom of the ocean. Father, um... King Magnus, led an expedition to investigate. Gaius's father, Notus, was one of the warriors who escorted him..." She paused again and looked at you with a strange expression in her eyes. For a moment, you wondered how she knew your father's name, before you remembered that you had told her just a while ago. "They both... perished down there, along with many others. However, their mission was a success. Melchior used the information they had gathered to build the Mammon Machine, a machine that was meant to draw some of the infinite power of Lavos. There was no one else who could use it, other... other than me." Her voice broke. You quickly moved to comfort her, but she let go of your palm and raised her hand to stop you. "It worked. It gave us more than the power we needed, for as long as I... I continued operating it. The Ocean Palace was an... improvement, designed by Balthazar. It is being built directly above that cave. He reasoned that we could draw more power if we moved the Mammon Machine to the ocean floor, as close to Lavos as possible. Power enough to make everyone immortal...""Immortal?!" Marle blurted out, staring at you two wide-eyed.Lucca adjusted her glasses and sighed. "Immortality... It could never work, not even if Lavos was a true god. So it was hubris that ended Zeal. Unfortunately, that still doesn't tell us why the world ended in the Day of Lavos, or how to stop it... Wait, if you're not there to operate the Mammon Machine, won't the islands fall even sooner?"
"Um... the Machine's reserves were full before I left. They will last for some time, but yes, eventually they will run out, unless I return or the Sun Temple is reactivated.""The Mammon Machine!" you uttered suddenly right as the idea struck you. "It draws power from Lavos. If the Mammon Machine can reach him, then mortals can affect him through that connection, perhaps even kill him. Balthazar told me that Melchior had a plan to save the kingdom before the Queen had him banished to Mt. Woe. Melchior made the Mammon Machine, this must have been what he intended!"Lucca grinned. "Finally, something we can use! We have a plan now, return to the Present, ask Melchior what his plan was, find a way to the Antiquity, save your kingdom, save the world. Hmmm, I wonder how much history will change with an ancient kingdom of magic that never fell..."Marle began giggling before Lucca was done speaking. "I told you we can do it! Maybe we'll all know magic when-" she suddenly stopped and jerked towards you "MAGIC! You said you can teach us magic?!"You rubbed the back of your head. "Err, we might? It was something that Schala and I discussed briefly...""How? No human has been able to use magic in recorded history. We are descended from... those that Lavos did not give its gift to, aren't we?" Lucca objected.Schala was the one to speak up. "We are not so sure. The talents that you exhibited, Chrono's Wind Slash and Marle's Aura are very similar to basic spells of the Wind and Light elements, respectively. Tell me, can you use them without limit?"Marle glanced at Chrono and waited for him to nod before answering. "No, a kind of fatigue builds up as we use them, but not physical fatigue, if that makes sense. It's like a muscle that you can't see gets tired and you need to rest to use it again.""When you used an Enertron, did it restore that... muscle?" Schala probed some more.Marle frowned. "No, but wh-""Mana! You use mana!" Schala couldn't contain her excitement and cut Marle off. "Um, I'm sorry. This confirms our conjecture. Your... talents are in reality a form of instinctual magic that you were able to perform without formal training. It must mean that some of our people survived and intermingled with the people of Algetty, bringing the potential of magic with them. You must be their descendants." she continued peevishly.Lucca placed her hand on her chin and spoke thoughtfully. "So Chrono and Marle are natural mages and their elements are Wind and Light. But I can't use a talent like them, so I'm just a regular old genius who has to rely on technology." She shrugged. "I can live with that. But why is it the Enertron that confirmed it?"
You waited for a few seconds, but Schala did not speak and you decided to answer her before the silence began to linger awkwardly. "Mana comes from inside us. It's used to cast spells and is only restored by proper sleep, and some potions. The Enertron did not restore our mana. And we think you might be able to use magic too. Your hair is an unnatural colour-""Unnatural? Purple is an unusual colour but hardly unnatural!" Lucca protested."Err, I don't mean it in a bad way. Blue hair is unnatural too, even if it's gorgeous." you tried to explain as you brushed Schala's hair with your fingers. Her cheeks took a faint pink colour at your compliment and you continued. "Blue hair marks someone as having royal blood. It was a sign of Lavos's favour to the first King Zeal, it wasn't a hair colour that humans had before. Purple hair is similar, it did not exist before Lavos bl... gave us magic.""My mom's hair is blue..." Lucca stated slowly."She has royal blood, and so do you, through her. You can use magic too, though I have no idea what your element might be. Oh, and before you get the wrong idea, this doesn't mean you're Schala's descendant. Some of the former Kings left many illegitimate children, there are many blue-haired commoners in our Kingdom." you told her a little sternly. You wanted to avoid yesterday's misunderstanding from repeating itself."But I can use magic too! Awesome. How does this work? When will we begin our lessons?"It was something you hadn't really given much thought about, so you waited for Schala to answer. She did, after a little while. "Um.... there's a ritual that reveals what your element is and makes it possible for you to connect and begin using it deliberately. The Ritual of the Revealing. It normally requires a spherical array and six mages, one of each element, to pour their mana into it. There is a sympathetic response with the element of the person who is subjected to it. It's beyond our means to replicate in full right now, but Gaspar worked to alter the base ritual when it failed to work for me. He showed me some of his work later. I think... I think I may be able to modify it to us a simpler design and work with a single person providing the mana necessary. Will you help me, my love? I will need your assistance with the calculations, and to provide that mana. My own element will not help...""Of course." you replied instantly. There was no question in your mind.
She smiled timidly at your quick response. "We will need a magic circle and I'm not sure what the best material is going to be, or how to make it. Your element is Water and it's associated with organic materials. Is there a skilled woodcarver in the Dome?" Marle nodded negatively and Schala pursed her lips. "Mr. Whitwell could forge us a circle if we bring him a sketch, but no metal will be ideal for you. Um... perhaps an alloy would be better? What do you think, Gaius?"You began thinking about the problem at hand, but did not come to conclusion before Lucca spoke. "I have some chalk somewhere in here. Will it work?" she asked while digging through her satchel.Schala chuckled. "Chalk... simple, but... yes, it's organic. We'll have to be very precise when we draw that circle, and it'll burn out after every use, but I believe we can make it work."Marle jumped with joy. "Yes! You can draw that circle right here, right? I can't wait!"Schala smiled. "It won't be so simple. The conditions here are not ideal and the modifications will take some time to prepare. We also have some options to decide from. The simplest version of the modified ritual will use only Water mana, but it will be weaker and reveal only someone of Water element, or its opposite, Fire." Her smile grew more confident as she turned to look at you with adoration in her eyes. "But you are extraordinary, my love. You can use a second element, like very few others. If you contribute Shadow mana in addition to Water, the ritual will be far stronger and reveal elements of Shadow and Light as well. But it will be more complicated to prepare, and more taxing on you.""Won't it be safer to do this when we get to the Present? I have everything you might need at my lab, and you'll be able to check and double check these modifications with no time pressure. You'll even have the help of Lucca the great after you explain the theory of magic to me." Lucca offered."But... magic!" Marle cried out with her palms towards you.Chrono shrugged indifferently. Schala was silent, her eyes fixated on you. What would be your decision?>This is not the time or place for this. You will work on this as you travel and perform the ritual when you reach the Present. You don't know when it'll be, but it'll work for sure.>Perform the simpler ritual here using only Water mana. It will be the least likely to work, but also the least demanding on your time and mana. You can always try again later.>Perform the more involved version here, using both Water and Shadow mana. While more immediately time-consuming and draining, it will offer a considerably better chance of success.>Other (Write-in)
>>5655756>This is not the time or place for this. You will work on this as you travel and perform the ritual when you reach the Present. You don't know when it'll be, but it'll work for sure.
>>5655756>>This is not the time or place for this. You will work on this as you travel and perform the ritual when you reach the Present. You don't know when it'll be, but it'll work for sure.we can refine it as we travel.
>>5655756>>Perform the simpler ritual here using only Water mana. It will be the least likely to work, but also the least demanding on your time and mana. You can always try again later.
>>5655756>Perform the more involved version here, using both Water and Shadow mana. While more immediately time-consuming and draining, it will offer a considerably better chance of success.Let's give them magic early.
>>5655756>This is not the time or place for this. You will work on this as you travel and perform the ritual when you reach the Present. You don't know when it'll be, but it'll work for sure.We don't need to wait until we get to the Present, but just out of here in general. There will be time for them to learn once you get out of this place. Wherever the next portal leads, it can't be worse than now.We can start giving them magical theory and the general gist of it in the meantime. Wouldn't want to accidentally mess up by using a jerry-rigged ritual with improvised materials in a dusty building in a dead future.
>>5655756Hmm... on one hand, having access to magic for all of us could be a great boon.On the other hand, resources are scarce and if we exhaust ourselves with a ritual we may regret it in short term.I'd say if our friends are up to and we can do it with good enough chance of success,>Perform the more involved version here, using both Water and Shadow mana. While more immediately time-consuming and draining, it will offer a considerably better chance of success.although really I'm fine with putting it off until later. Although it may be tricky for us to get a better spot where we can be reasonably certain to not be disturbed than here.
>This is not the time or place for this. You will work on this as you travel and perform the ritual when you reach the Present. You don't know when it'll be, but it'll work for sure.>>5655758>>5655759>>5655764>>5655811>>5655959>Perform the simpler ritual here using only Water mana. It will be the least likely to work, but also the least demanding on your time and mana. You can always try again later.>>5655763>Perform the more involved version here, using both Water and Shadow mana. While more immediately time-consuming and draining, it will offer a considerably better chance of success.>>5655765>>5656090
The benefits of what your love was proposing, potentially allowing your friends to use magic before your dangerous trek through the ruined city, were obvious. But so were the drawbacks and you weighed both carefully before announcing your verdict. "This is not the time or place. We will work on the ritual as we travel and perform it when we reach the Present." You then shrugged nonchalantly before adding "Or sooner if we find a good enough and have it perfected by then."Reactions were mixed. Chrono nodded in acceptance, Marle let her hands drop and her shoulders droop with a disheartened "Awww...", and Lucca boasted "With my help, it'll be perfect in no time." with her usual bravado.As for the woman of your heart... Schala's smile faltered and her eyes dimmed. "I thought you would... we could..." she jumbled her words at first, before she paused. Her slender fingers brushed through her hair, coming to stop at the golden flower that adorned her azure strands. She then stood upright. put on a neutral expression and continued in a more steady tone. "You're right, I'm not... no, it's not the right time. I'm certain Lucca's ritual will be... flawless. Shall we go now?" she finished with that polite smile you knew well was not genuine."Yeah, there's nothing left to do here. Next stop, Proto Dome!" Lucca answered immediately and made haste for the door. She was followed by all three others in the room, Schala included.You lingered behind, frozen for a moment. You could tell she had been hurt, despite it never being your intention. You hurried to catch up to her as she was crossing the threshold of the room and placed your hand on her arm. "I love you!" you affirmed.She half-turned her torso and cupped your cheek with her palm. "That, I don't doubt. I love you too." she said tenderly, with eyes sad and a complicated expression. You didn't try to stop her when she withdrew from your reach and out the room. Your face burned where her fingers had touched. You heart had gone cold. What had happened? How could you soothe her ache? You believed you needed time and privacy, but you had neither and you tried to think of an answer while you walked behind the others in the dark."Hmmm, there's one thing the I'm still wondering." the silence was suddenly broken and you were dragged out of your thoughts, but the one who spoke was not her. "Why did Lavos destroy the world in 1999AG?" Lucca asked from where she was in the front of the group without turning to address you. Her light was still the only source of illumination down here."Because he's an evil monster?" Marle suggested carefully."No, I mean, why then? Was there some reason that it laid dormant for thousands of years before emerging on that date? Why destroy the world at all, if it tried to help humanity initially?" Lucca continued her line of inquiry.
Who could predict a god's motives? They couldn't be identical to those of mortals. No one tried to speculate, at least not aloud. The ensuing silence felt to you awkward and oppressive until you finally offered your best guess. "Revenge?""Hmmm, it's possible. You were its chosen people, but you got too greedy and annoyed it too much, no offence. But why did it wait for so long?"It was a reasonable question. "The Director on that video knew Lavos but you don't. Maybe he gets rediscovered sometime in your future and they try to tap on his power like our kingdom did?" you offered another theory."That's more likely but I still have a hunch it's not the complete answer. Grrr, we need more information. We don't have enough." Lucca grumbled.Silence fell once again. You gazed longingly at the back of Schala's head for some time, before you decided to hurry to her side, take her soft hand in yours and squeeze gently. She turned her head to you and flashed a timid smile at your gesture and you silently cursed yourself for not thinking of it soonerThe next to speak was Marle, who asked you about the magical element of Light and the kinds of spells that someone wielding it could cast. You answered her as best you could, not being a Light mage yourself. Lucca joined in on the discussion and the topic expanded to encompass all six elements. You explained the basics of their relations to each other, their uses, advantages and disadvantages. You naturally knew the most about Water, your own element and that of your mother, closely followed by Shadow, the one that your father had used and you had come to use later, but you had spent your childhood studying under your mother's tutelage and nothing was truly unknown to you. Except for your love's element, of course, the unique and mysterious dual element of Time and Space, or Spacetime as she had told you that Gaspar had called it. You knew nothing about it other than what she had told you, or what you had seen her do with it. She was the only one who could explain more about it, but she did not volunteer anything about it. In fact, you realized with some dread after the discussion that had absorbed you died down and you climbed the ladder leading to the surface, she had not spoken a single word in its duration, even though you knew it was a topic that interested her and she had studied extensively.Chrono climbed last and secured the hatch behind him. A pause was put on your discussion while you walked the administration building's corridors, the topic of magic would best be avoided until you exited the Dome, it was not worth the risk of someone overhearing you and asking questions that could be difficult to answer. When you stepped out, the bright light of the artificial sun on the Dome's ceiling irritated your eyes and you blinked rapidly while they adjusted. A question popped in your head, and you asked it while you stood in front of the largest building in the Dome "Err, will this sun never set?"
Schala hesitated for just a moment before she answered. "Um, no, it was configured to mimic a real day. It will gradually cycle through twilight, darkness and daybreak before returning to its greatest brightness and repeating on a set frequency." "You've thought of everything. You're brilliant!" you gave her a wide smile and cheerfully complimented her.She avoided your gaze and craned her neck to look up and sideways, in a movement that only accentuated its slenderness. "No, I'm... you don't really... um... you might need some powdered silver to mix with the chalk, for when you decide to perform your ritual. It should enhance its effectiveness.""Why is that?" Lucca leaned forward and regarded Schala with eyes burning with curiosity.Schala took a small, anxious step back and her eyes darted left and right. "Um... silver is associated with Shadow, so..."At that moment, Marle intervened and grabbed Schala's hand. "Come on! We should get that powder now if you're going to need it for your ritual. Let's go ask Mr. Whitwell." she told your love and began pulling her to the side without resistance. You and Chrono simultaneously moved to follow them, but Marle raised her hand to stop you. "No need for all of us to go together. Me and Schala can do this by ourselves, right Schala?"The two girls exchanged a glance. "Um... yes, that's right. Don't worry my love, we'll be back soon." she reassured you."Then it's settled! We'll meet you all at the Dome's entrance. If there's something else you want to do in the Dome before we leave, now's your last chance!" Marle waved and resumed pulling Schala, far less forcefully than before. The group was unexpectedly getting split again. Where would you go?>Insist on going with Schala and Marle to Mr. Whitwell, against their objections.>Wait for them at the entrance, with Chrono and Lucca.>There's actually one more thing you want to do before you leave the Dome. (What?)>Other (Write-in)
>>5659865>Wait for them at the entrance, with Chrono and Lucca.I can't think of anything, other than healing the eyes of that kid (though I feel like we aren't powerful/skilled enough for that yet).
>>5659865>>Wait for them at the entrance, with Chrono and Lucca.
>>5659865>Wait for them at the entrance, with Chrono and Lucca.
man, Schala is so high maintenance, why did you guys wanna waifu her again?
>>5659956She is becoming needier at an exponential rate. Hopefully the other girls can help her self esteem issues.>>5659865>Wait for them at the entrance, with Chrono and Lucca.
>>5659865>Wait for them at the entrance, with Chrono and Lucca.>>5659956I wonder what that was about… maybe she feels she doesn’t have enough time? I wonder what she’s choosing not to tell us to not hurt us.
>>5659865>Wait for them at the entrance, with Chrono and Lucca.>>5659956Because she's great.>>5660076We should be the ones to help her.>>5660159She thought we chose not to do the ritual because we didn't trust her to do it right. She was already jealous of Lucca and thought she wasn't good enough. Now she believes we really think she's not good enough even in her area of expertise. I bet Marle picked up on this and is dragging her away for a pep talk.We should refuse Lucca's help and work on it with Schala alone. This should prove that we trust her.
>>5659865>>Wait for them at the entrance, with Chrono and Lucca.I dont know why she is acting like this, we are going to improve upon her spell while we go. Itll decrease the chance of something going wrong, and we will gain knowedge of what it will do since we are modifying it.>>5660176>we didn't trust her to do it rightBruh, we are just going to improve it. tf is she smoking. now that i think about it this is a very accurate woman moment.
>Wait for them at the entrance, with Chrono and Lucca.>>5659869>>5659899>>5659950>>5660076>>5660148>>5660159>>5660176>>5660210>>5660584 Trying to phonepost, please stand by
You stood and watched the two princesses walk down the street and disappear around a corner. Nothing would be helped by forcing yourself in their company and there was nothing else you could think to do in this city, other than Adalyn, the blind little girl you had failed to fully heal. You felt a small pang of regret but you were still barely stronger than you had been when you first treid. You would only fail again, unless you accepted an offer you would rather not. You would come back eventually, that was a promise. To yourself, if no one else.That offer of power... it could have only come from Lavos. Why? No answer was forthcoming, but at least you now understood why Schala had asked to postpone the discussion on the identity of that whisper until after you had seen your god destroy the world. What more did she know? You would have to talk to her about that.And not just that. What had happened down there? She had shut herself off completely after you suggested that the ritual should be performed at a later time. Did she feel that she didn't have enough time? Could it be that she had felt you didn't trust her to do it right without Lucca's help? But that was unreasonable, wasn't it? You only wanted to improve it further, make sure that nothing would to wrong and gain knowledge of what exactly it does as you were modifying it.It would be better if you had the power to bend her to your will and compel her to stop being so unreasonable, something insidious inside you whispered, would it not?No, of course not. You wanted the best for her, for her to be less dependent, not more. You wished for her to be your partner, not your slave. A power like that... you wouldn't want to have it over anyone, much less her.Then should you not accept that this will not work and break it off with her now that you had seen how unreasonable she could be, the whisper returned, before you became further involved with someone like her?What? Where were these ridiculous thoughts coming from? They had to be banished back to the depths of your mind. You loved her. You knew she wasn't the perfect princess that everyone back in Zeal saw her as and you accepted her for who she was, flaws and everything. It had been less than a day since you had told her as much. You knew she wanted to spend more time with you, you knew she was insecure and jealous of Lucca. If that was what had caused her to act like this then you would talk with her and ease her worries. No matter the root cause of the problem, you would talk with her about it and resolve whatever it was, together.
Marle had done well to take Schala and go. It has given you the chance to collect your thoughts and decide the best way to tackle this issue before it festered. And you hoped that it meant the two girls were getting closer. Your love had no real friends back in Zeal, just like you, and you would be hard pressed to find better people than these kind travelers from the future. They would not hesitate to risk their live to save yours, the old man in your prophetic dream had said, and you did not doubt that it was true. That dream... another mystery that could not be solved yet. Every new day brought more questions than answers, yet your adventure had only just begun, even if your peaceful days with your mother felt like a lifetime ago, and if the books you loved to read had taught you anything it was that the real answers came towards the end.Abruptly, you brought yourself out of the ocean of your mind, looked around and blinked. It took you more than a moment to recognize your surroundings. You had absentmindedly moved to the entrance of the Dome without realising it. Chrono arched his eyebrow and gave you a questioning thumbs up, asking without words if you were fine. You returned the gesture with certainty. You were, or would be, once the woman that you craved returned.Lucca was speaking to the two guards about something. You weren't really paying attention. Minutes passed slowly while you waited. Some pangs of worry began surfacing and you forcefully stamped them down as soon as they appeared. She was fine, she was with a friend in the safest location in this future and they'd be back soon. Yet when you saw them in the distance, you couldn't help but feel some relief at her sight. An affectionate smile slowly crept across her features as she approached and your heart grew correspondingly warmer.Marle waved enthusiastically. "We got everything we wanted, are you all ready?" she asked."Yeah, let's go." Lucca answered."Umm... before we leave, I wish to apologize for my earlier behaviour. I'm so sorry Gaius, it was unseemly and you didn't deserve it. Lucca, neither did you. I'm sorry for everything. I would like to speak with you, if you want." Lucca shrugged. "Sure Schala, let's talk. But what are you apologising to me for?""Never mind that, now that everything's settled, let's go!" Marle intervened, grabbed both girls by their elbows and began walking."Before that, err... Schala, can we talk?" she seemed to be over... whatever that was, but you still wanted to learn what exactly had caused that and whether it was something you had done."Of course!" she answered immediately, but then hesitated, with her eyes on Lucca.Lucca chuckled in response. "Your boyfriend beckons, go to him. We can talk later."Marle loosened her grip on Schala with one last squeeze of encouragement, you noticed, and the two of you fell behind as you left the Dome, walking side by side at some distance."I'm s-" you began.
"Please don't." she stopped you. "You did nothing wrong. It will only make me feel worse if you apologize."That was a relief. It only left one question. "What happened?"She let out a short sigh. "I let my darker thoughts consume me. Now that I have you, I fear losing you more than I fear... more than anything. It all happened so fast that I'm still not used to... us. I was certain you would want to perform that ritual immediately, and when you didn't...""I only wanted to improve it." you protested."And you were right to! It still needs time to be finished, and that dreary room where we watched so many perish was no place for that. We will work on it together, will we not?" You readily nodded. That was exactly what you had meant to do anyway. She sighed again and smiled sadly before she continued. "My feelings for you would not have changed if you hadn't defeated Chrono. You already know I'm not the smartest or the most competent, so how could I be so petty as to think that yours were so shallow as to... I saw Lucca as a rival, not a friend. Marle helped me see how wrong I was... She asked me if I thought Chrono liked her, can you believe that? Maybe you can talk to him and help them get together?"You, playing matchmaker? It was certainly not a request you could have expected when you asked ro talk. "Err, I'll see what I can do." you carefully replied."Thank you. Please, stay still.""Wh-""Slow." she chanted quietly and then her palms were on your cheeks and her lips were on yours instantly, before your mind had a chance to register what was happening. Her touch filled you with warmth and left you dazed and rooted on the spot when she withdrew, far sooner than you wanted."I'm sorry for my selfishness my love. I think I have accepted I should be content with what time we have instead of greedily demanding more. Shall we join the others?" She smiled and extended her hand.>Join the others.>Walk with just her for a while longer. It will be good for the both of you.>There is something else she's not telling you. Insist on finding out.>Other (write-in)
>>5661347>Join the others.
>>5661347>>There is something else she's not telling you. Insist on finding out."Its like you are planning on dying"
>>5661347>Join the othersIs that hand holding in public? How depraved. How sweet.>thank her for her trust & reaffirm ours
>>5661347>Walk with just her for a while longer. It will be good for the both of you.Pushing too much too fast isn't gonna work out well
>>5661347>Walk with just her for a while longer. It will be good for the both of you.Maybe she might even share with us what she's hiding?
>>5661347>Walk with just her for a while longer. It will be good for the both of you.
>Join the others.>>5661355>>5661394>There is something else she's not telling you. Insist on finding out.>>5661385>Walk with just her for a while longer. It will be good for the both of you.>>5661395>>5661402>>5661514
You didn't wait long before taking the hand she had extended. But when you did, instead of moving forward as she was expecting, you remained standing and pulled her back to your waiting arms. She giggled and you spoke before she could voice the question evident in her eyes. "Will you walk with me for a while longer?" you asked her. It would be good for the both of you."Really? Even... yes, of course! Always." She laughed heartily and her laughter was like music to your ears. Her face brightened the gloomy twilight more than a sun would. You walked side by side for some time, basking in the glow of her happiness. The silence hung comfortably over you. You wouldn't mind walking like this forever, but there was much you wanted to discuss with her, more you wanted to learn about her. Lavos or the ritual were obvious topics. You were also curious about other things, like what her life in Zeal had really been, the first precious gift she had received, her family, her relationship with the Gurus, her dreams and aspirations. And there was something else she wasn't telling you, something you believed she was keeping inside her to not hurt you. It was like... she was really planning on dying. But pushing her too much too fast wouldn't work well. She would tell you what was on her mind when she was ready."Um, G-""Err, Sch-"You both decided to begin speaking at the same time, then burst out laughing together at the coincidence. "I'm sorry Schala, what did you want to say?" you encouraged her."No, I'm sorry Gaius. Please go ahead." she countered.You recognized you could go in circles with her like this forever. Someone would have to make a start and in the end, you opted to ease her mind by avoiding the heavier topics. "That song you sung yesterday... It was beautiful. What was it?" you asked her.She looked down at her feet, lost in thoughts for a while before she answered. "Oh, um... Thank you. The melody is a lullaby that Mother used to sing to me when I was a little girl to becalm my worries. Sometimes I would see a... nightmare and I would find it difficult to sleep. She would always stay with me, stroke my hair and read me stories or sing that song until my heart was calm and my eyes closed..." she spoke wistfully. These memories obviously meant a great deal to her.You tried to imagine the Queen you knew, a woman feared by all, act like the caring mother that Schala remembered, like your own mother. You failed, and so you asked the next question that came to your mind. "What do the words mean?""Nothing." she replied instantly. "The words you heard didn't mean anything. There were no set lyrics in her song, or at least none that I can remember. Um... how about you? Did your mother use to sing a lullaby to little Gaius, or read him bedtime stories?" she asked with a twinkle in her eyes.
"Err, I don't remember any songs, but she did often read me stories before I learned how to read myself, and sometimes after. That's probably where my love for reading came from. My father used to tell me stories of his adventures too." You chuckled. "I suspect he may have embellished them a little, but even his most fantastical story, or any of the books I read, couldn't rival... this." you added and swiped wide with your free hand, to encompass the barren land all around the two of you."Truth can be stranger than fiction, can it not? I'm sure he'd be proud of you if he could see... um... tell me, what were your favourite books to read?""Oh, err, I liked simple stories the best. You know, the hero defeats the Tyranno, saves the Princess, they live happily ever aft..." you trailed off as you realized what exactly you were saying and you felt your ears and your face heat up.She chuckled and looked at you sideways, with a hint of a smile in the corner of her lips. "Those were my favourite too. I never imagined I'd get to live in one. We've encountered no fire-breathing Tyranno, but robots and smaller monsters are close enough, are they not... my hero?" Did she really just call you... the thumping on your chest grew louder, loud enough to drown out your thoughts. She then looked down again and that hint of a smile faded and disappeared. "If only the real monsters were so easy to defeat..." "No monster is invincible. Not even a god." You could see that your confident words did not have the desired effect. You knew were more words you could have offered to comfort her, words you had used before, but your mouth refused to work as you willed it and form proper sentences. The words slipped through your fingers and you could do little more than squeeze your interlocked fingers.Eventually she was the one to break the ensuing silence, with her eyes gazing off in the distance. "Those stories became my greatest comfort after... they were my only... my only escape. It has been many years since Mother last read us a story, or sang that song. Poor Janus, he doesn't remember it at all. He has almost entirely forgotten the time when Mother... even I have come to doubt my own recollections of those times on occasion. Memories are such fragile things. If something has been forgotten, how can you say that it truly happened?"
You furrowed your brows. It was a strange question. "I guess... as long as a single person remembers or records remain, nothing is really lost.""No records remain of our Kingdom in the future, and no memory of it. Is it not as if it never existed?" she asked suddenly, but continued speaking before you had the chance to answer. "Perhaps it is for the best, for our Kingdom to fall and our tainted legacy to be lost and go unremembered. Our slavery to that monster, Lavos, is our main distinction and we wear that slavery as a badge of honour. We use it to... to justify our oppression of the only ones who are free of his poisoned gift... Our pride is immeasurable. Would it not be better if it all... if it disappeared and left those who are free to flourish?"You stared at her for long moments. Her forceful words surprised you. Could this be what she had been hiding? You somehow doubted that it was, you already knew that the poor treatment of the Earthbound was something she cared deeply about. Nevertheless, you considered your answer carefully. "Our Kingdom needs to be reformed, but to fall? Our people aren't evil, just... misguided." An unbidden memory, that of Dalton delivering the news of your father's death with a smirk and then immediately hitting on your grief-stricken mother, came to the surface. "Not all of them, at least." you corrected yourself. "Surely you don't believe that they deserve to die?"She seemed startled. "Umm... no, no one deserves that..." she replied thoughtfully."We'll find a better way. You can make your mother listen to reason. Or..." You didn't voice the rest of your thought. The alternative was plain enough for both of you to see. If the Queen refused to listen to her daughter's pleas, then you knew another Queen who would, one who'd only have everyone's best interests at heart. But that would require... no, it was best to leave that unspoken, even in your own mind. Your love shuddered and closed her eyes, letting you guide her blindly in the desolate wasteland. She remained silent, her thoughts probably mirroring your own. She remained silent and with a somber look on her face even after she opened her eyes again, and you determined it was time to change the subject. "What else did you like to do in your spare time, other than reading books?" you asked her."I, um... like singing when I can, even if I'm not very good at it.""You sing with the voice of an angel." You punctuated your confident words by reaching to the side and stroking her soft hair with the back of your fingers.She chuckled and looked away. "Flatterer..." she replied, and a faint red colour began spreading on her cheeks."I would never lie to you." you insisted. "It's the simple truth that your voice is beautiful."
She turned and regarded you curiously. A smile slowly spread on her lips, like a sun slowly rising right in front of your eyes. "No, you wouldn't, would you? You wouldn't pay me a compliment that you didn't believe to be true. Then... then I have no choice but to believe that it is true. Thank you!""No, you really have no choice, Princess." you replied, mirroring her smile.You both laughed again after this exchange. With the mirthful atmosphere restored, you took a look around you and noticed a landmark you recognized from Lucca's map, one that meant you had passed the halfway mark on the road to the ruins. The others were ahead of you, at a respectful distance that made it impossible for you to hear what they were saying, or vice versa. They were absorbed in some animated discussion, but you couldn't understand more than that.>Keep walking with her for the rest of the way. (Anything in particular you want to discuss?)>Join the others for the rest of the way.>Other (write-in)
>>5665782>Join the others for the rest of the way.
>>5665782>Keep walking with her for the rest of the way. (Anything in particular you want to discuss?)We should slowly prepare her to succeed her mother when we return, but for now let's start working on that ritualhttps://m.youtube.com/watch?v=U4rjTYHD330
>>5665782>>Join the others for the rest of the way.
>>5665782>Join the others for the rest of the way.we can discuss the ritual with them if it comes to that, but I'm sure they will have something they want to talk about as well.It's probably too early to talk about overthrowing the queen until we learn more on what's going on exactly.
>>5665782>Join the others for the rest of the way.Farther from the dome things will get more dangerous. We should be closer to the rest of the group, if anything attacks.Also, I'd like to get to know them better, if possible
>Join the others for the rest of the way.>>5665795>>5665819>>5665856>>5665921>Keep walking with her for the rest of the way. (Anything in particular you want to discuss?)>>5665818>>5665826Be careful with encouraging her to harden her heart and go Arthas on the Queen when you return. I'm not going to stop you, don't get me wrong, but you should be prepared for the possible consequences. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAb6z4evmuEAnd once again, I'm sorry for the delay folks. The update has been almost written for days, but a nasty case of bronchitis made finishing it much more difficult than it should be.
"We should join the others for the rest of the way." you reluctantly told her."Oh... already?" Her disappointment was evident both in the tone of her voice and in the way her shoulders now slumped a little.Part of you wanted to keep walking with her like this, but it didn't seem like a wise idea. "Farther from the dome things will get more dangerous. We should be close to the rest of the group if anything attacks. Besides, wouldn't you like to get to know them better?""I... yes, of course. We should be closer to them." she cautiously agreed.You accelerated your pace without another word. Soon Marle noticed you two approaching and said something to the other two. Their conversation ended and they stood still for the brief time it took you to reach them."Well, well, the ancient lovebirds finally decided to join our company?" Lucca greeted you with a smirk."Lucca! Stop teasing them all the time, it's getting old!" Marle interjected."Come on Marle, they don't mind. Do you?" Lucca turned suddenly and addressed the two of you."Err...""Um..."Put on the spot like that, you both fumbled and failed to respond. Lucca chuckled and gently elbowed Marle's ribs. "See Marle? They don't mind. Don't worry, I'm sure I'll soon have something to tease you about too and then you won't be feeling left out!" Marle was left speechless and so were the rest of you as Lucca confidently marched onward, chuckling mischievously all the while.No one was inclined to speak for a while, so you filled the silence with the first question that came to your mind. "So, err... can you tell us more about how you all met each other?""That brings me back." Lucca answered immediately. "Chrono and I have known each other for most of our lives. Our first meeting was... was it sixth grade?" Chrono nodded once and she continued. "Yeah, sixth grade. It was early in the school year and some other boys had... smashed one of my inventions and were making fun of me when that little twerp..." She pointed to Chrono with her thumb. "Simply marched up to them and told them to cut it out. They beat him up as expected, he was both outnumbered and two years younger than us! I told him he was being an idiot afterwards, these ruffians would never actually hurt a girl and I didn't mind the words of fools." She chuckled again. Despite how it had began, this seemed like a happy memory for her. "We've been best friends ever since. Well, my only friend, really, before we began traveling in time.""Oh... this is horrible. I'm so sorry that it happened to you..." Schala sympathized and hesitantly extended her free hand towards Lucca.
"Don't be. I really don't mind the words of small minded simpletons intimidated by my genius." Lucca replied without turning to look back, and Schala let her hand drop to her side again. "And Chrono has been a great friend! I can't even count the times we've defended each other, or he's sat and patiently listened to my explanations even if he didn't understand a thing, or helped me test an invention... He got us these matching scarves too!""Gato was good training." Chrono unexpectedly spoke up.Lucca chuckled again. "He was, wasn't he? I'd better fix him when we go back, you really did a number on that poor robot. So, you see Pr... Schala, we didn't need anyone else..." she suddenly turned back to look at you. "Not that I mind having more friends. The more the merrier, right?""Um... yes. Yes, of course!" Schala readily agreed.You could hardly disagree either, but there was something she had mentioned earlier that you were curious about. "Did you say that Chrono is two years younger than you?""It's hard to believe, isn't it? He hit a growth spurt a few years back. He actually got these scarves to commemorate my adulthood on my birthday last year.""You're 21?!" It was hard enough to see her as older than Chrono, but older than you? She didn't look the part at all."What? No, I'm ninet... wait, does this mean that the age of majority is 20 in Zeal?" Lucca inquired."Yes, my twentieth birthday was on the day I met Schala and went to the future. Though does that really mean anything when we're spending La... who knows how long in so far from our time?"Schala answered your idle musing. "It's been exactly... No, it doesn't matter. I still owe you a present, my love. Lucca, you're nineteen years old? Our age is the same!" she then addressed the purple-haired girl ahead of you."Really? You look older." was Lucca's answer. Oh no, why did she have to say that, age was a sensitive issue for women. Even your mother had began making jokes that she'd soon start telling people she was younger than you. You carefully scanned Schala's face, and while she remained silent, she didn't really seem bothered by Lucca's comment. Not until Lucca continued, at least. "But you're not an adult, I hope you two didn't do anything naughty while you were alone in that room yesterday." Lucca said with a smirk.You really couldn't think how to answer that, but you were saved when Marle cut in. "My turn! I'm sixteen, so I'm the youngest and I met Chrono and Lucca on the first day of the Millennial Fair. Father had forbidden me from going, so I snuck away. The first thing the happened there was that I bumped into Chrono and we fell over. Teehee, he didn't recognize me and he escorted me around the Fair before we went to Lucca's teleporter demonstration and I was sucked in a portal to the past."A Fair in the peaceful Present? Now that would be a good idea for a date with Schala, wouldn't it? "Is that Fair still open?" you asked her.
"Yeah, it should be. It's a great celebration, it will last for weeks. A lot of people go there, it has many things to do. Drinking, dancing, fighting, that Tent of Horrors, candy! We'll go again when we return, right Chrono?" He nodded vigorously and it really seemed like a great idea for you and Schala too. You were suddenly nervous. Would she like it? Should you ask her? When should you ask her?You opened your mouth to speak, but before you had a chance to, Marle suddenly yelled "GET DOWN!" You acted on instinct, wrapped your hand around Schala's shoulder and pulled her down on the ground, protecting her with your body. What had happened? Were you under attack? You remained silent however, huddled to the ground, and your questions where soon answered when you heard the telltale whine of a jetbike in the distance. You couldn't see it, it must have been flying low. Agonizing moments passed as the sound grew louder, then more distant again. It hadn't seen you. You waited until Marle gave the all clear before you stood up and helped Schala up in turn. You dusted your clothes off and she did the same before combing her hair with her fingers."That was a close one." Marle said. "We're getting close to the city and we still haven't made a decision.""A decision about what?" you asked."Our approach." Lucca answered. "Our objective is the jetbike but there are more than one ways to get there and we can't agree, so we need your opinion. Our first option is to just head down the highway. It's the fastest route, but also the most exposed. We'll probably end up fighting robots if we go that way. It's the route that Chrono favours, he says we can beat some robots and the faster we go there the better." Chrono nodded, Lucca must have accurately summarized his view. "The second option is to go through the ruins. They're infested with mutants and we've been told that mutants are extremely hostile to robots, so they usually avoid going there. We won't have to fight robots if we go that way, but we might have to fight some mutants. And since we'll be going through buildings, we might find something good to scavenge on the way. It's what I think is best.""And the third option is to head down the coast!" Marle continued. "It's the longest route, but it should be the safest. We don't know what's there for sure, but we might be able to avoid both mutants and robots. And there should be some beach houses to scavenge if we want. What do you guys think?"You exchanged a glance with Schala. She wouldn't offer her opinion before you. What would you answer?>Use the highway.>Travel through the ruins.>Head down the coast.>Other (Write-in)
This was the last update for this thread. As always, I'd like to hear any feedback that you have while the thread lives. It's also been a while since I asked a question and I'm curious: Do you have any predictions for the future?The Quest will go on a break after this. I'm not sure when the next thread will be, late June at the earliest, early July is more realistic. I can only promise that we will be back. There will be an announcement on twitter and the /qtg/. If you want to speak to me in the meantime, you can find me either on twitter or on the /qtg/ discord.
>>5669052>Travel through the ruins.It's the option with both fighting and scavenging
>>5669052>Head down the coast.Something something taking our time with friends and the brown door guy.
>>5669052>>Use the highway.race minigame go!
>>5669052>Through the ruinsI guess moderate fighting and looting it isalthough we should be careful with our resources, hard to refill in this inhospitable land.>>5669055Well, as far as we know we hope to be able to travel to a past to look for Melchior, but without abusing on game knowledge we have little way to guess what we're going to find out.Also wasn't it around end of the future arc that the group first reached Caspar's hangout? Something about violating the JRPG three man party rule... anyways that's not for us to anticipate.
>>5669052>Travel through the ruins.>>5669055I predict that Schala will keep being cute.>>5669110I wonder how the meeting with Gaspar and Melchior will go. They didn't tell the party anything in the game, but they'll have to recognize Schala now.
>>5669052>>Travel through the ruins.
>>5669052>Travel through the ruins.