"S-say what?!" I said in disbelief.
I can't believe this! I thought, I- I did this all to protect her... Mia... but... I'll think of something. Someway, I'll keep my promise... nothing will harm her!
"Didn't you hear me, boy?" said Taben, shattering my thoughts. "The Magic Emperor has commanded this! So get a move on it! They will be approaching soon! Watch the viewing crystal!"
I watched the crystal for a moment while Taben went to... ummm... do SOMEHING, and saw the five... err... four of them... approaching... in front of the door...
Four without me...
I shook the thought. I've been shaking away thoughts so many times, you'd think my head would fall off my neck, but the Magic Masher made sure it wouldn't. Just forget about how it made sure. Go through my crappy-little-description for a clue. Just take a wild guess!
Taben had instructed me to, when they were near, stand on the platform. It would lift me to the level that they were on, about two levels up. I stepped up on the platform. It lifted me up...
"Here we go... or rather, here I go..." I said, the last part at barely a whisper. I could actually hear them, and Taben...
"Today is my debut of my latest invention, the Mobile Magic Masher!" said Taben after introducing himself.
"Sounds interesting," said Kyle, "but you might want to think twice about the name, bud. By the time we're done, you'll be changing the name to IMmobile..."
"Hmmm..." said Taben, "alas! Your feeble words won't save you, human! It's time to introduce those who disobey the Magic Emperor to the true meaning of terror!"
"I don't like the sound of that one bit..." said Nall unsurely.
"Taben wasn't lying... there is powerful magic very close to us! I can sense it" said the familiar voice of Mia.
That's when I kicked in.
"You didn't listen to me!" I said, "I warned you, but you didn't listen! How ignorant and irresponsible can you BE?!"
"I recognize that voice!" yelled Kyle. "Afraid to show yourself, traitor? You should be!"
"Afraid of you?!" I snapped back. "Ha, ha, ha! You're the one who's going to feel fear, Kyle!"
Then the platform lifted me up to their level...
"Inside this armor, my power is amplified beyond measure!" I boasted. "You can't stop me... you can't even hope to slow me down!" I forced out the next sentence. "Your only choices are submission and servitude or failure and death."
"Alex," said Nall, "is it just me, or does Nash look kinda like a giant chicken?" I HAD to agree with the cat on the giant chicken theory.
"If you value your lives, you'll cease your disobedient course and obey the Magic Emperor! Don't force him to destroy you and everything you and everything you care about!"
"Shut up, you moron!" said Kyle hastily, "You think I'm gonna listen to you after what you've done?! I'm gonna knock you and that ridiculous getup of yours to the Blue Star and back!"
"I wasn't able to talk any sense into you before... so why would you start listening to me now?" I said. "Now I'll have to use force. But don't fret, I shan't kill you... that comes later... and not at my hand..."
And with that, I mumbled a few words (yet again), and struck them with a spell that would weaken them to a point where they were so weak, they couldn't even stand up. All but Mia, of course.
"Uhhh..." said Nall.
"I'm so... tired..." said the weakened Jessica.
"Damn you... Nash..." said Kyle, his voice still sharp.
Then I casted another spell that would send them all to la-la land.
All but Mia.
"Mia, I don't want to hurt you," I said, "I don't want to hurt anyone... I did this all for you!"
"Nash..." she said with an unhappy look.
But I didn't expect what was coming next.
She gave me a sharp look and said, "You IDIOT!"
And with that, she walked up to me with a stern look and (had to jump first though... I told you this thing was tall!) slapped me in the face, right on my left cheek. It didn't hurt much, but it was painful deep within my heart and soul.
"Did you really think that doing this would make me happy?!" she asked forcefully. "What made me happy is when you were helping us... when you were helping Alex! Don't you understand why he's trying so hard to save Luna? Don't you understand anything?"
"...Ummm..." I said, wracking my brain trying to figure out why HAD I done this?!
To protect my friends... but all I've done is make it even more worse for them... I was being selfish... only thinking of myself. Now they'll never forgive me... not after this...
"Please, Nash," said Mia in a pleading tone that no one can ignore, "Please stop this cruel charade! I... I love you Nash. But I hate what you're doing to us."
Then everybody- WHAT?! Did she just say that she LOVES me?! ME?!
Ahem. As I was saying, then everybody started to recover from the spell that I casted on them.
"I'm sorry, Mia..." I started to apologize, "I really messed things up this time, didn't I?"
"Oh, Nash..." she said in a "apology accepted" tone.
"I'm sorry, Mia..." I repeated( because I really was sorry!) "and all of you. I thought I was doing what was best... but I was really thinking only about myself. I only wish I could take back everything I've done..."
"Nash..." said Alex after everyone had gotten up, and he said it in the same tone as Mia.
"Alas!" said Taben ("Alas!" must be his favorite thing to say), "Despite of this little change of heart, the power of my invention must be known. I won't let you all depart without a minor demonstration via remote control!"
With those words, he pulled out of his robe, a controlling device, pushed a button or two, and the... ummm... "thing" on top of the Magic Masher's armor (I don't know what the heck to call it) made a small robotic sound and Taben said, "Behold the power of the Mobile Magic Masher, humans!"
Then suddenly, my arms were moving, and I AUTOMATICLY casted a spell!
What's happening?! My thoughts screamed, I didn't do anything! I- I can't control my body... no, I can't control the Magic Masher! Taben must be controlling it!
"I knew that apology was just another damn lie!" accused Kyle. "You are dead, Nash! DEAD!"
"That wasn't me, Kyle!" I objected (sheesh, it's starting to sound like we're in a trial, or something!) "I'm not doing anything!"
"Nash?" Mia asked, trying to figure out what was happening.
"Help me, Mia!" I said. The Magic Masher was out of control!
It was getting WAY out of hand!
"We'll have to get Nash out!" instructed Alex. "Try to destroy it without harming Nash!"
"Gladly!" said Kyle with a giant smirk on his face. "I'll just go for the head first-"
"He said WITHOUT harming Nash!" said Jessica with half of a smirk on her face as well. "I know it's hard to do, but we don't have time for that right now!"
And with that, the Mobile Magic Masher started to attack, as did the four of them. Alex swung his sword near the lower part of the armor trying not to wack me in the face, Jessica was constantly healing them just as fast as the Magic Masher attack (with my own Lightning skills, might I add), Kyle seemed to enjoy attacking the upper part where he could "accidentally" chop off my head (that ignorant barbarian!), and Mia was casting her Fire and Ice spells.
The Magic Masher, however, was using up my magical power on all my powerful attacks, and I was getting weak.
But it was painful enough to watch myself hurting my friends... with my own magical powers...
And I can't do a thing about it...
I wanted OUT of this thing! I DON'T want to watch my friends suffer like this... and at my hands!
Then I got a way out. All I saw was darkness.
I opened my eyes and saw Mia sitting on the ground leaning over me, and she smiled when I opened my eyes.
I felt totally guilty for all the stupid mistakes I had made.
"I... I..." I tried to find the words that would comprehend what I had done, but they did not come.
"Say something stupid, Nash..." said Kyle. "Give me a reason to slap you silly, you mentally castrated nincompoop!"
"... ... ..." If I said something, it probably would come out stupid. What can I say? I had nothing to say.
"That's better!" said Kyle with a mocking grin.
"Come on, Kyle..." said Jessica. "I think Nash knows what he did was stupid (I sure do!). I mean, REALLY stupid... And if Mia didn't slap some sense into him, nothing will! I... forgive you, Nash. I'm gonna keep an eye on you, of course... but I forgive you."
"Alex... do you forgive him, too?" Nall asked.
"We're all friends, aren't we?" said Alex. "Besides, we need his help to stop Ghaleon..."
I expected nothing less from Alex. He is pure of heart... a true Dragonmaster. I sometimes wish I were that way.
"Welcome back, Nash," Mia said with a smile.
"Mia... everyone... thank you." I said. But then I remembered.
"Taben wasn't lying about the Grindery..." I said, "it's an armored castle that moves! In fact, it's very nearly complete! And, once it starts moving, it can't be stopped... so we mustn't waste any time!"
"What?!" said the both astonished and amused Kyle. "A moving castle? I think you're still dizzy from that slap Mia gave you!"
"It's ALL true, but no time for details now," I said. "We have to reach the activation room!"
"Luna..." thought Alex aloud. He probably didn't mean to say it, but he was thinking of her so much... he couldn't keep it inside.
Alex shares such a strong bond with Luna, I thought, that not even Ghaleon can break... I was wrong to doubt them... we WILL defeat Ghaleon... save Lunar... and Luna. I will make sure of it. I only wish my bond with Mia was as strong as Alex and Luna's-
My thoughts were abruptly shattered with Nall's high-pitched voice as he said, "Quickly, Alex!"
We walked up to a control panel of sorts, and Nall said with curiosity in his voice, "These switches look pretty cool, Alex! Do you think it's okay if I touch 'em?"
"I don't think so, Nall," Jessica said with a slight giggle in her speech. "You might blow this place up!"
"I have an idea..." said Kyle, trailing off. "We'll go outside and let Nash hit the switches. That way, if the tower blows up, he's the only one who gets killed! What do you think?"
"I think you should shut up!" I said, but nonetheless, I was glad everything was back to normal: Kyle and Jessica fighting, Kyle pitching insults at me (but he got them back!), Nall being sarcastic, and Alex, sitting through it all. So much patience, that Alex.
We walked on the catwalk, until we reached the door to the main control room to the Grindery. We walked inside... It was Ghaleon and Taben
"Well, well, well," mocked the Magic Emperor, So, you made it to the Frontier at last. And you even stole the title of Dragonboy! But guess what, my dull little fool? You're too LATE!"
"Really?" said Kyle, with a half scowl and half a smirk of mockery. "It looks like we're right on time to pound you to a bloody pulp!"
"Luna... where is she?!" asked Alex, with a look of hatred on his face, in his eyes.
"Resting peacefully in a slumber of my design..." Ghaleon said, still sounding amused, "but I shall awaken her soon."
"If you've done anything to her, you'll answer to me!" said Nall, with his back arched, fur standing on end, looking like he wanted to fight Ghaleon by himself, then and there, which, of course, he could not do. He looked more like a cat than a baby White Dragon to me with his back like that, and all. Believe me from experience.
"I answer to no one, rodent!" said the Magic Emperor. "And soon you'll witness a manifestation of that fact!"
"Ghaleon!" yelled Alex, eager to save his love, and before he could try to engage Ghaleon in battle, Ghaleon stuck him with a line of lavender thunder.
"Tsk. Tsk," the Magic Emperor mused. "Apparently our little hero isn't a patron of the theatre. This isn't time for our final confrontation, Dragonboy! As any dullard with an ounce of culture knows, that time is reserved for the third act! Your amusing little trails and tribulations just brought our second act to a close. I do expect you to be a cooperative dear and save the best for last, Dragonboy. Won't you play along?"
Alex couldn't say anything, but you could see the absolute hatred and rage, fuming out of his very eyes. After all, the eyes ARE the gateway to the soul.
"Taben!" Ghaleon said.
"Yes, Magic Emperor!" Taben replied. "The Grindery is operational. How lucky you are, human! You survived the journey to the Frontier and the attacks of my magical weapons... and now you're alive to witness the most important event in the history of the world!"
"No..." I said, "we're too late!" And it was all my fault!
"Magic systems initialized!" Taben checked off. "Power output maximized! Behold, humans! Gaze upon my finest creation... THE GRINDERY!!"
Then everything began to shake. The Grindery was detaching itself from the rest of Ruid!
"What's happening?!" Jessica cried.
"Ghaleon!" yelled Alex, obviously still wanting a fight.
"Don't worry about him, Alex!" shouted Kyle. "Worry about us!"
He had a good point there.
Everything began to shake. We quickly got off the balcony-thing, and it began it's departure. We watched as it wheeled away, slowly though, but, its size covered a lot of ground.
"By the Goddess..." said Kyle, devastated, as soon as the Grindery was mobile.
"We're dead..." I said, noting on how powerful the Grindery was, and how, quite easily, it could crush us. "We're all dead."
"What would happen if that... THING attacked a town???" said Mia, also taking note on its destructive power.
"They've got Luna in there, Alex!" Nall reminded Alex. "We HAVE to stop it!"
"But how are we going to cross the Desert of Death?" I said.
Whoops... heh, heh... the airship. Forgot about that.
"Why, in the airship you tried to destroy, butt-brain!" Jessica informed me.
"Yeah!" said Kyle. "We need to have a little talk about that little stunt later, Nash!"
"We have to follow that monstrosity... for Luna's sake..." said Alex, still thinking of Luna, obviously.
We managed to escape Ruid in time to see the Grindery. Eventually, we would face Ghaleon, and triumph.
I have learned a lot from this journey with my friends. We fight for the ones we love. Friendship, love, and in my case, forgiveness, are absolute.
We all have weaknesses. Even the strongest warriors do. Ghaleon's weakness was not anything physical... no, it was his heart. A heart where a stronger lust for justice... power, grew.
Ghaleon thought that humans needed someone to control humans. The Goddess. Not all of Ghaleon's ideas were meant for evil. They were misguided.
Ghaleon took his love for justice to a higher level, a much higher level. He thought what he was doing was good... for the best. As did I.
But he underestimated the power of the human spirit... the soul. He did not-no, he didn't WANT to believe that humans could navigate their own lives.
He underestimated a lot of things, but above all, he underestimated the power of love. Alex and Luna's love was so strong, not even Ghaleon's most powerful spell could destroy it.
We all need to believe in the power of the human spirit... the power which resides within each of us. We
mustn't give up our love, no matter the circumstances.
We fight for the ones we love.
We must overcome evil.
We must realize our true future, our destiny.
We must focus on the future, and not on the past.
We must, above all, fight for the ones we love.
We need to protect this world from anyone who might try what Ghaleon tried.
Love and friendship are the ultimate true power.
Every day we have is a gift. We must use these days towards good things, and make this world a better place to live for everyone.
We shan't give up hope for a peaceful future.
It will come... someday...
Back to Betrayal.
Back to the Library of Vane.
Back to the Shrine to Ghaleon.