Parasite: Prologue, Chapter Seven

By Glarryg

Crono leapt off of the fallen body of Helminthes; the giant worm had stopped breathing moments after being inundated with the boy’s Lightning Magic. With his head bowed from exhaustion, the youth staggered away from the monster and sheathed his sword as he headed towards his comrades.

As he slowly left the creature, an eerie tremor slowly rumbled through the swordsman’s subconscious. The further he got from the beast, the more Crono felt that something was awry.

Lifting his eyes, Crono noticed a humanoid shape limping towards him. A familiar-sounding voice was yelling something, and the figure pointed at him. As it approached, the boy eventually recognized the medieval swordsman Frog, hobbling through the dead forest. He was pointing in Crono’s direction, but not at the boy.

“Lad!” he repeated, jabbing his finger past Crono’s head. “Behold!”

Crono spun around to see the body of the great flatworm jerking spastically. One of the twisted horns on its head had split open, and a lengthy tentacle had stretched out a few yards into the ocean. The creature appeared to be siphoning water, and regaining its vitality thusly.

“Crono, I can do naught against that beast,” the amphibian declared, grasping his injured left arm. “It is up to thee to slaughter Helminthes.”

Grimacing at the worm, Crono once again unsheathed his Rainbow Sword and commenced an attack.

Before the monster could pick itself up, Crono had leapt onto its head and severed the tube through which Helminthes had been sucking ocean water. A convulsion of pain followed, but the boy was able to keep his footing as the beast lifted its head into the air.

Then, launching himself forward using one of the creature’s horns as an anchor, Crono flew towards the back of the flatworm’s head. Turning the blade to his side, the youth dug the Rainbow Sword into Helminthes, dragging it through and slicing off a good portion of the monster’s left eye.

The young ronin’s trajectory sent him falling off of the great worm, but he was able to right himself and land safely on the ground next to the beast. Helminthes reared back in agony, screaming as vital fluids gushed from its maimed eye. The saucer-shaped portion that had been cut off landed gelatinously next to the creature and was smashed under a paddle-limb as the monster thrashed about where it stood.

Crono faced the beast and readied another assault, but a flailing paddle caught him off guard and sent him hurling ten yards away from the great worm.

Frog hopped awkwardly to where the fighter had landed. “Art thou alright, lad?” he queried.

Winded, the youth said nothing, but pulled himself to his feet and dashed back to the wounded enemy.

Helminthes, having regained its senses to an extent, swept its head back and forth, searching for the boy with its remaining eye. Catching sight of its adversary, it steadied itself and charged once more at the adventurer.

Crono readied his sword, having not let go of it even after being struck so heavily by the creature’s limb. When Helminthes dove towards him, he sprinted at it, ducking under its flaring mouthparts by mere inches. Having snuck under the beast, he stabbed the Rainbow Sword upwards into the monster’s head.

The great flatworm shrieked in anguish, but the swordsman only pressed further, jamming the weapon towards the back of its head. Crono twisted the blade around, searching for the creature’s brain. Having failed to bring the beast down, the boy retracted his sword. And stabbed Helminthes again.

In fact, Crono ended up jabbing the great worm three more times, hoping to sever a vital nerve and cut the monster’s brain off from the rest of its body. Helminthes itself seemed paralyzed with pain, even though it persisted to breath steadily. Finally, having not found anything, he administered on last stab to the base of the creature’s head.

Once the lad’s sword penetrated the monster’s neck, however, time seemed to stop suddenly. The Rainbow Sword started to quiver, as if fighting off some sort of supernatural possession. Then, without warning, a ray of energy, pure black in essence, shot up from the sword and through the beast’s neck.

Dumbfounded, Crono was barely able to hold his sword steady. Something alien was happening, but an instinct told the youth not to relinquish his hold on the Rainbow Sword.

As the young swordsman watched, the ray of energy slowly and calmly widened, inscribing a semicircle through the flatworm’s body with a searing whine. A brief but blinding flash of light caused the plane of energy to dissipate.

The damage was done. Lazily, Helminthes bowed forward and released its head, which fell heavily to one side of the boy. The creature’s body slumped to the boy’s other side. Very little blood seeped from the massive openings; the energy had apparently cauterized the mortal wounds Helminthes had received.

Sighing in relief, Crono returned his weapon to its sheath. Faintly, he could hear his friends calling to him as they raced to the scene. But, just as he saw Lucca, Marle, and Frog running (or limping, in some cases) to where he stood, he felt another presence.

Turning around and raising his head, the boy spotted the dark wizard levitating not far from him. Magus was adjusting his leather gloves; Crono suddenly understood from where the mysterious black power had come.

Just as his comrades approached the area, the young swordsman took a step towards the mage skeptically.

“Why?” he asked.

Folding his arms, Magus turned to one side and spoke.

“That thing was too slow and stupid to be a match for Lavos; I was young when I made it. If a boy could bring it down, it never would have lasted against an all-consuming demon. The weak can only succeed in pestering the strong until their own time is up.”

The four standing fighters exchanged glances among themselves. They mutually understood the sorcerer’s cynicism.

Turning north towards the village of Truce, Magus said, “Come on; we have a monster to kill.”



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