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by wyvern14

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Part 1 (2008)
Part 2 (2008)
Part 3 (2008)
Part 4 (2008)
Part 5 (2008)
Part 6 (2008)
Part 7 (2008)
Part 8 (2008)
Part 9 (2008)
Part 10 (2008)
Part 11 (2008)
Part 12 (2008)
Part 13 (2008)

Chapter 4

Apocalypse

Tangible evil stood before them. Flames, ice and lightning burst forth from the paladin's brother and the old Lunarian's fingers, bathing the ominous mastermind in sheets of light. His laugh reverberated around them, lost in the open space of the lunar core. Edge watched in anticipation, knowing nobody could survive this onslaught.

Am I glad they're on our side!

He remained on the outskirts of the platform, in front of Kain and Cecil. Like
him, they all fixated their attention of the battle fought. While he had not come this far for a hero status or glory, watching Golbez and Fusoya deal with the scion of hatred themselves left his with a sense of being cheated of his dues.

His skin prickled, something huge was about to happen. Glancing around, he spotted Rydia, body poised forward but unmoving, eyes closed and serene, as if savoring the very air they breathed.

Magicks...

On cue, the dark armored man and the elder joined their hands, unleashing tremors. The atmosphere grew heavy and hot, as right before a storm hits, then red tinges inked the lights from the surrounding crystals. He did all he could to keep his balance when the first meteorite hit Zemus with a thundering impact. Then another, and yet more molten rocks, sizzling with extreme heat, rained on the wicked being in quick successions.

If they keep this up, this place will collapse!

Cecil grabbed the white mage's arm when she slipped, the dragoon using his spear as leverage, while the ninja crouched low to keep his stability. From the corner of his vision, he saw her stumbled and lunged to cushion her fall, letting her put knees on the rocky floor.

"Careful..."

If she heard him, she did not give any sign, breathing deeply. As quickly as it at began, the meteor shower faded although the residual heat remained oppressive. Zemus fell to the floor, muttering something they could not hear from the distance. Excitedly, the prince came to his feet and ran to the battle's winners, his comrades sprinting close behind.

"Hey!"

"Oh, you've come!" Fusoya looked their way, genuinely pleased.

"Looks like we were too late. You were supposed to leave him for me!"

The ninja exclaimed, somewhat hurt.

.........................................................................................................................................................

"Cecil..." Golbez murmured, expression hidden by his helm but his voice full of regrets.

The paladin glanced down, not trusting himself to speak. A second passed, then waves of malevolence buffeted them in surprise and they all turned around.

No way!

Zemus was struggling to rise, dragging his head upward, and then burst out in flame s deep as night. Edge's hair rose at the back of his neck and he groped for his enchanted blades, something was definitely wrong!

"I am the wellspring of darkness, fed by Zemus's unbridled hate!" The voice, raspy and sinister, reached them in full force. "I am He who is called Zeromus. I am He who knows naught but hate!"

Wave upon wave of dark energies blasted forward, whipping at their clothes and hair, tornado-like.

"No! Death only fuelled the evil within him!" Fusoya shouted, against the cold wind.

Golbez tried to fight against the gusts, walking one foot at a time toward the source of the chaos.

"Zemus... no - Zeromus! This time I will finish what I set out to do!"

Supporting him, the frail old man prayed out loud, screaming.

"Zeromus! Begone!"

.........................................................................................................................................................

Cecil could only stare as his fellow Lunarians unleashed apocalypse on the alien fiend. Flaring lights and rocks in fusion fell from the sky in rapid succession, but the beast shrugged them off like so many water droplets.

If they cannot affect it, how will we ever destroy it?


Doubt clouded his confidence. They could not fail, not here, not now, not after everything! The white-haired mage screamed at his brother and the paladin struggled to catch his words, to no avail. Something shiny and pulsating rose up from an ashen gauntlet, radiating like a miniature sun and casting rainbow hues over Zeromus, who laughed in defiance.

"Your hands will only stain it darker still! Die!"

More rumblings echoed, as the monstrous being counter-attacked with the same magic that had destroyed its mortal shell. Hell rained down on him, black oily fumes hiding his view.

"Rosaaaaaa!"

His cry died as flames bathed everything.

.........................................................................................................................................................

He tried to cough, blood bubbling on his lips, gagging him. His whole body felt numb, limbs throbbing from his wounds. Weakly, he tried to twist his head around, to reassure himself.

It's only me... only... me...

"Know suffering! Know death!"

Wisps of smoke parted. A spear tip rested a crystal tile, next to a lobstered plate glove of grey blue. Blinking to ease the stinging of his tears, he discerned something green pooling on the floor. His vision was too blurry to discern where silk and hair began and ceased, but the color left no doubt.

"My hate will not be staunched until it has consumed all else!"

No...

His lashes fluttered against his will, his ribs painful and unmoving. Edge could feel the cold creeping up inside, swallowing him whole.

I wish I could have...

"You shall be next! Come! Pass into this darkness I have wrought!"

Sighing, the black encased him and he abandoned himself to death.

.........................................................................................................................................................

Struggling, Cecil crawled weakly across the floor.

"Br.. Brother..."

Golbez watched him, extending his hand in his direction and slowly parting his fingers. The crystal shone in response and the paladin stared, eyes wide.

"Cecil... It must be you."

Determination shone like a beacon of hope on the knight face. With new-found strength, he got up and closed his fist around the glassy shard.

Everything is clear to me now.

"Zeromus... This is the end for you - not us!"

.........................................................................................................................................................

Rydia felt stiff and tired, but forced her eyes to open. Her cheek rested on a cold, hard surface and she could not remember how she had gotten there. Soft, hushed voices spoke all around, barely audible but clearly human. Giving it more attention, she found them familiar and had to look around.

Spirits?

Memories of the Damcyan prince flashed in her mind, and the wrinkled face of old sage Tellah impressed itself to her.

Are they... speaking to me?

Slowly, she put a hand on the floor, shifting her weight to get up. Lifting her face, she bathed herself in the light emanating from above, moved her legs and managed to get on her knees.

Cecil?

There seemed to be a vague silhouette in the bright radiance, barely outlined. Squinting, the summoner could indeed recognize the paladin's brandished hand, the source of that blinding flash. The others were waking up too, groaning and confused. Their leader was in trance, holding his beacon and keeping evil at bay.

So... weak...

The melodic voice of Edward rose in a choir, echoing in her very being and filling her with strength. Her hands did not feel so trembling anymore and she confidently got up. The mage felt refreshed by the second, and more alert than ever before. Cid's gruff voice spoke in murmurs to her ears, Yang's determination emanating from his every word.

For all who bled because of evil, for those who suffered and faced death with no regret...

The furnace of her heart menaced to explode. Everything she wanted was here, right now. Darkness would step out of this world and give room to light, so that nobody else would cry of anguish because of this despicable creature named Zeromus. As Fusoya and Golbez's souls encouraged them on, something slid between the crystal's holy blessing and her, shading her eyes.

Edge looked over his shoulder, nodding to her and unsheathing his blades in flourish. His stare reminded her of stars, and then it dawned on her that there were unshed tears glowing in the sharp light.

.........................................................................................................................................................

His brother's presence faded slowly, his trust in his pure sibling apparent with no words spoken. Steeling his resolve, Cecil lowered the crystal; visage unmarred and eyes straight open, observing his enemy. A creepy fanged visage rested amid the mass of blue tentacles and he remained fixed on it.

Taking a deep intake of air, he turned upon himself to gain momentum and threw the pointed gemstone at Zeromus, landing a square hit between the glowing orbits.

The roar was deafening and space contorted as their enemy took on its true shape.
Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy IV
Version 6
©1997–2017 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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