Crono stood at the altar, waiting for her to come. For a second he became worried that she wouldn't show, but all sound stopped, and he knew it had to be her. Punctuality wasn't her strong suit. He loved her anyway.
He turned slightly to look at her, but he could barely make out anything beyond the huge cloud of rice spewing forth from the two machines Lucca had made for the event. Overkill, Crono thought.
Eventually, Marle, spitting out rice, walked up to the altar. Melchior helped her up the steps. A muffled voice from behind the rice-covered veil said, " Can't see a darned thing..." Crono almost burst out laughing.
He turned toward the altar, and when Marle was fully upright, Melchoir began, "Do you, Crono...."
He's trying to bore me to death, thought Crono. I'm sure he is.
He sat on his throne, trying to look as interested as he possibly could, while listening to the most uninteresting dribble he had ever heard. A short, fat man named Hwozwarshlkin (Crono had yet to say it correctly) stood in the center of the room, reading on and on about grain shortage, a thief who kept stealing hay from a nearby farm (Crono strongly suspected a cow, but the little man never allowed interruptions), how the birds were making a killing at the market with the coming of the fish stand, and all sorts of things that he couldn't care less about.
With Marle sick, he had to handle all these matters himself. Rakin and Corea sat on their chairs beside his throne, silently begging him to let them eat, or talk, or something, but just as Crono began to say something to them, Hwozwarshlkin stopped and exclaimed, "Your majesty, it would appear that you have no concern for the well being of your kingdom and it's people!"
Crono fumbled for a response, and finally came up with something that might satisfy the little butterball. "Well, Soswershkin, some of these things are truly awful, and I was about to tell my children that it might be best if they left the room, uh... so they don't get nightmares... tonight, you see, and, uh...."
The two teens put on their best frightened expressions, and Corea trembled a bit. Nice touch, Crono thought.
The little (but rotund) man looked long and hard at their expressions, and finally said, "Children, maybe you should leave so your daddy and I can talk, okay?"
The two nodded, quietly slid out of their seats, and walked to the door behind "Hozark," as they called the fat man. Once they reached the metal double doors, Rakin turned around. Thanks, dad. he mouthed to Crono. As the short man looked down to shuffle his papers, Crono mouthed back, You owe me.
Rakin merely smiled and mouthed Enjoy, before walking out the door.
<I>Same Time Period</I>
Corea walked out into the daylight, and was surprised by how bright it was as compared to the inside of the palace. When Rakin came out, he reacted similarly. After they had adjusted to the sunlight, they stretched and yawned, until they felt completely relaxed.
"Do we know anyone more boring than Hozark?" asked Corea.
"I doubt that such a person exists," replied Rakin. They chuckled for a while, and then lied down on the grass near the bridge.
"So," Corea began, somewhat insinuatingly, "what do you think of that Oramina, hmmm?"
"What kind of question is that?" Rakin replied, raising an eyebrow as he glanced over at her.
"Oh, just wondering when you'll be married."
"WHAT!?" Rakin exclaimed, "Why you little..."
He got up, but his sister had been prepared, already having run into the forest. Rakin ran to catch her, but stopped when he heard a short, clipped scream. Cautiously, he started to move forward, drawing his katana as he did so.
"Come on, Corea. Don't kid around. I'm warning you, really. Don't make me tell mom and-"
A hand fell on his shoulder, and he yelled, jumped forward, and brought his sword up between himself and...
"L-L-Lucca...," He stammered in embarrassment. He could see his sister hiding behind Lucca, both of whom were now laughing so hard they couldn't speak. He felt foolish, both because he'd let them sneak up behind him and because he overreacted, but he couldn't look stupid in front of an older woman and his sister at once. He made the most of it.
"Engarde," he said boldly, and struck a pose with his sword pointing right at them.
Corea fell over, she was laughing so hard. Lucca looked as if she was about to do the same, but her face grew serious instantly, and she turned toward the castle. Rakin was starting to wonder why she had done so, when the air behind the castle... rippled. It was like staring into a pond when someone had touched the surface. And then the ripple swept over the three of them.
Rakin tried to scream, or yell, or somthing, but he didn't seem to be able to control his body. Every fiber of his being seemed to be unraveling, like a tailor pulling out stitching, and then it was over.
He stood there, dazed for a moment, and then sheathed his sword. He saw Corea, still sitting on the ground, silent in surprise, but wearing different clothes. He looked at the castle and saw that unfamiliar banners waved from every tower. His legs also felt itchy. He glanced down and saw that he was wearing those itchy fine pants that his mom sometimes made him wear. The pants that he hadn't put on this morning. He looked to Lucca, and saw that she was wearing her normal outfit, but that her glasses had pink rims.
"Lucca," he asked, dazed. "What happened?"
Lucca stared at the sky as if slightly dazed,and didn't look at him as she absently replied, "Past-alteration resequencing."
"Come again?" asked Corea, coming to her feet.
Lucca finally glanced around at the two siblings. "Big trouble," was her reply.
And then it darkened.
Rakin looked up to where the sun was supposed to be, as did Corea. When Lucca turned around, a gasp escaped her mouth.
"Ah, Lucca," whispered Corea, "is that more trouble?"
Lucca merely whispered, "Omen."
"Sure," Rakin replied, not sure at all of anything at the moment. "I suppose it could be an omen."
"No, that's what it's called, Rakin. The Black... no... the Red... Omen."
They all stared up at the vaguely triangular red object in the sky. "Your dad's gonna need to know about this, kids."
"Just as you touch the energy of every life form you meet, so, too, will their energy strengthen you. Fail to live up to your potential, and you will never win."
To Chapter Two
Back to Cain's Works