Part Five: Bedknobs and Broomsticks
"So. . ." Edgar nosed around the platform on which the Water Mana Seed resided. "Will THIS one restore my memory?"
"Say that again and it'll make you lose a few more memories," Rosary growled.
"Oh?" the little sprite looked at her. "How?"
"When I chuck it at your head," Rosary answered sweetly.
"Children," Luka said warningly as she healed Lucius's arm. Ignoring Luka's warning, Rosary darted up the stairs after Edgar. The sprite stuck his tongue out at her and jumped from the platform, soon followed by the young noblewoman The Mana Knight sighed long-sufferingly as the two chased each other around the platform; Rosary threatening Edgar and Edgar hurling insults and wisecracks.
"Time flows like a river and history repeats," Luka whispered softly as she finished the spell. "Fifteen years earlier, Thanatos hungered for Mana's power, dragging the young Emperor Vandole along with him; now, it is Vandole who is starving for it -- some say he is looking for a way to rid himself of the sorcerer."
"And where do we come in to all this?" Lucius asked her.
"If the Emperor takes control of the Fortress, those in allegiance with Tasnica will be finished: Pandora, Kippo, Mandala. . .Potos," Luka regarded him sadly, her ageless eyes liquid with tears. "And if Thanatos takes the Fortress -- we're doomed."
"Now isn't that peachy," Edgar grumbled under his breath, before addressing Luka. "But the Emperor's just some dried-up old geezer in a castle somewhere -- wouldn't it be easy to stop him? It wouldn't take much: maybe a dagger or some poison. . ."
". . .And spending the rest of your young life in a dank, Northtown dungeon: regicide has never been a crime lightly punished," the aqua-haired woman reminded him. "Although greedy, Emperor Vandole has been a popular ruler, one with many supporters and powerful allies."
"So, in other words, the answer is 'no, Edgar,'" the little sprite said before being clonked over the head by Rosary's Kung-Fu glove.
"More like 'shut up, stupid,'" Rosary growled as she returned the glove to their pack. Edgar glared at her, but smartly shut his mouth. "But you still haven't answered our question: what are we supposed to do about all this?"
"As you may already be aware of, a strange sickness has struck the city of Pandora, leaving its inhabitants mute and dazed."
"Yes, that's why Dyluck and his troops were going to the Haunted Forest," Rosary nodded. "They were going to . . .persuade Elinee into lifting the curse or providing the people of Pandora with a cure."
"This doesn't seem to be the sort of spell Elinee would cast," Luka frowned. "Rumor has it that she has ties with the Empire and has been seen with Thanatos on more than one occasion; this may be his doing."
"And you want us to stop him," Lucius said quietly.