Making the Legend
Crono looked into the night sky, his green eyes reflecting the dozens and dozens of stars knitted into the blackness. The wild red hair ruffled in the breeze, and he had one hand to his sword hilt unconsciously. He leaned back against a smooth boulder, his face solemn and relaxed.
The trees and bushes were rustling in the slight gust, and the boy was startled when a soft voice inquired, "It's nice out this evening, hmm?"
Marle Guardia gently seated herself beside Crono in the soft grass, looking up to his surprised gaze.
"I didn't mean to surprise you," she apologized, a light smile on her lips.
Crono shrugged his shoulders, looking back up to the sky.
"It's fine," he said in his usual quiet manner.
The Princess leaned back, hands behind her head.
"Will you tell me some of the constellations...my dad used to when I was a little kid. I don't remember half of them now, though."
The swordsman grinned, but it was slight, like his words.
"I know only a few."
"Point some out, I'll tell you if I remember!"
Crono's hand lifted, and he waved his finger to the east.
"Lykana, the five stars in a row make his sword, the cluster over there, by his sword, is the..."
"The curse that his wife laid on him, when he stole the Mirror of Vanity from her."
She inquired, voice low , "What was the curse? That I do not remember."
The girl laughed.
"Immortality...?! Why is that so bad, people look for it in fact!"
He turned the tranquil eyes upon her.
"Immortality...without forever youth."
Marle's smile faded, and she looked a bit taken aback.
"Oh, yes, I suppose that would be terrible...I couldn't imagine, centuries with gray hair, and dim sight and wrinkled skin."
His stare lingered momentarily, then once again rose heavenward.
"I could not imagine that either." He pointed to another group of stars.
"Lykana's wife, Ebindee. She was cursed by the Gods for being so vain, and her teeth and hair fell out. She died from grief."
Yet another constellation.
"Gaea, monster of lore and legend. Was defeated thousands of years ago. And there, The Five Griffins, those lines of stars connecting, and they lead to the Dark Minion, which they are forever in combat with."
Marle listened raptly. The young man put his arm down on his lap.
"That is all I know."
The girl sighed, a bit disappointed. Crono stood, leapt on top of the boulder to sit. He had one knee up, an arm propped casually on it. He looked down at her, smiling.
"Remember Marle. Tell a myth."
The Princess stared at the starry depths of the sky, trying to make pictures from the dots. Her face brightened in realization, and she stood up, pointing a thin finger to the north.
She matched his smile and wrinkled up her nose.
"Heh, that's who I was named after. My mother thought it was a pretty name, and that Nadianna's myth was powerful."
Her companion eyed her, asking, "What was the legend?"
She took a breath, and began to speak...
"Long ago, when Guardia was barely a village, a girl was born to the Headman's wife, and they called her Nadianna.
She was normal as an infant, normal as a child, but when she hit adolescence, she started to notice a Power growing inside of her. The Power frightened her, for she could control the plants and the water, make small fires, and change the direction of the breeze. It was thought all magic was bred out of people, until her Power was discovered one day."
"Everyone was in awe of her, was scared of her, so she was forced to flee the village. No one had seen such a thing since the time of The Great Wizards, a millennia or two ago, and fear equaled hostility and hate. She was frightened, barely out of childhood, but she managed, for the Power helped her. She could hurry fruit trees and plants that bore vegetables along before the time of harvest, she could stay warm from the fires she made, and clean the water if it was dirty, chill it as well."
Marle paused, faced Crono and the boulder, trying to climb up the smooth surface of it. The boy reached out a hand, and she took it, being lifted easily, as though she were a mere twig.
He held onto the hand, not letting it go, and whispered when she sat, "Go on..."
"Well," the girl continued, a small blush on her face from his unrelenting contact.
"Nadianna lived this way for a few years, hiding her Power and hiding from people, peaceful but lonely. Then, one rainy, stormy evening, she was sitting inside of the cave she used for shelter, warming herself on a woven grass mat, when she saw something in the mouth of her cavern. Fearful, she readied her Power reluctantly, and boldly called out, "Whoever is there, speak out now!" The figure only continued to advance, and she was scared, but tried to hide it. "Speak!" She cried again, and when the visitor didn't she sent a small Fire spell its way. The flame hit it square in the chest, and no scream or anything came from it. When it fell to the ground, she came over to it, and realized it was a human boy. Ashamed and regretful, she helped him sit up, and healed him right away. He did not say anything to her, only stared wide-eyed. She apologized, and asked his name, still feeling real bad. When he was still silent, she was a bit suspicious. She asked again, and the boy's cheeks were very red, and he pointed to his throat and looked at the floor. She knew, then, that he couldn't speak because he was mute. She felt even worse, and invited him to sit by the fire and warm himself up. "My name is Nadianna," she told him, "I...wish I could know your name..." The boy with the red hair and blue eyes thought for a minute, then pulled a charred piece of wood out of the fire. He wrote his name onto the floor, but Nadianna couldn't understand it because she couldn't read. So, he thought a moment longer, then decided to give himself a new name, just for her. He pointed at himself, then to his eye. "Eye? That isn't your name is it?" She said. He shook his head, and pointed again to his eye. She looked at him for a bit, then exclaimed, "Oh! Your name is BLUE!" And he nodded his head, and that was how Nadianna made her first friend."
Marle looked up at the sky, away from Crono's gentle gaze.
"Friends, they were, for a bit. But, he an outcast from his village, and she an outcast from hers, made life lonely. So...they just..fell in love. Despite Nadianna's frightening power, and despite Blue's disability. It was as simple as that, and it was peaceful and beautiful sharing the little cave together with no one to chide them for their young love, or for who they were. Well, one day, some wandering villagers from a nearby town found their safe haven, and caused trouble for them. "It's the witch!" The simpleton villagers shouted, fear rising immediately. Blue tried to stop the ensuing scuffle, but he was simply dragged into it. They were taken back to the village, to be burned at the stake. Nadianna was too afraid to use her powers, for she didn't want to prove their claims true. They were going to burn Blue first, and let her watch. It was terrible, they hadn't done anything wrong, but they were being punished for being different. They tied Blue up, the "Witch-Lover", all beaten up and bloody, and Nadianna was still so scared. The fire was lit, and his fate was surely sealed, but then a great gust of wind came down from the sky and blew the fire out. The villagers screamed and cursed, and turn to vent their anger on Nadianna when five glowing beings flew into the village square, landing with their great golden wings outstretched. "Do not harm them," the head of the great Five Griffins of lore Artiomedd, boomed, "For the one called "Blue" by Nadianna, is in truth my only son!" All were shocked and scared by this proclamation, least of all Blue, who could hardly believe his ears. The masses of people began to mutter about him being an evil wizard as well, but Nadianna silenced them by standing forth and shouting boldly at the great griffin, "Then why did you take his voice?! Why can he not speak to me, why can he not tell me of his love?" And Artiomedd answered, "Nadianna, Blessed Be, you know his love! Without voice, he is, because if he sang, it would be like powerful magic, and a mere thought and spoken word could be devastating. He shall speak once, and only once.
For one day, I will grant him voice. It is you, Nadianna, that I need to talk to most of all, not Blue. You will lead these people, you will control your power. You will start a mighty Kingdom known as "Guardia" and we shall watch over it personally!" The Five Griffins all raised their voices in unison at the last sentence, and Blue's bonds were broken and he fell to the ground.
"Dawn tomorrow, he will speak, and when the sun dips into the sky once again, he will be silent!" Proclaimed Artiomedd, and he and his fellows flew off into the sky, as abruptly gone as when they came. All the villagers were in awe, but this time not in hate, and they immediately accepted Nadianna into the village again, where she took her rightful place, and began to build a kingdom."
Marle took a deep breath, quite a time passing during her narrative, which she tried to tell as best she could.
Crono hadn't taken his eyes off her the whole time, listening with a great intensity. "Yes..." he murmured finally, "Yes, I do remember some tale like this...hey, though..."
She laid down on the huge rock, looking at him in an amused manner.
"What did Blue say?"
The Princess looked back up to the sky, her fair face unusually staid.
"As soon as the sun peeked over the horizon," she whispered, "All he could say was Nadianna's name...for a bit, at least. Then they talked, and he told her his true name. Which was, odd enough, Bard."
Crono grinned crookedly.
"Yes, and he sang to her all that day, and his voice was beautiful, golden. Everybody called him "The Blue Bard", even though he only had voice for only a day. He sang to Nadianna about how beautiful and strong and loving she was, and she was more so in those three qualities that day forth."
She flicked a small bug off of her billowy pants.
"Odd little myth, really. I don't believe any of it, too weird, too fairy tale-ish. It's the only one I remember real well. Just because it was told to me a hundred times. Everyone expects ME to be very loving and strong and beautiful, that's why. Never quite made the cut."
She clenched her jaw, and her eyes roamed over to the cluster of stars that was Nadianna, the constellation's hand upraised with flames coming from it.
Crono blew a few strands of deep red hair from his lightly tanned face, and eyed Marle placidly.
"Princess Nadia, if I sang to you like The Blue Bard, would you believe that you were beautiful and strong?"
The girl rolled her eyes and blushed, growling, "Oh, don't humor me Crono!"
The mouth quirked up into a smirk, and she giggled thinly.
"Sweet of you to offer, though!"
"I would not lie to you Marle, not after all we have been through, not after all we are going to go through."
She winced at the sudden remembrance of their daunting task ahead...the overthrow of Magus...
Crono still held her hand, and he placed his other hand over the one he already held.
"I'm scared too, Princess. I will admit that. Magus, a boogeyman to scare children to bed, a fearsome legend centuries old...and we are to be the ones to destroy him."
His eyes, usually so calm and quiet, now quivered with fear and uncertainty.
Marle sat up, looking him straight in those feared eyes, legs dangling off the edge of the boulder, declaring brazenly, "We aren't going down without one heck of a fight Crono! Just think of Magus as the dark Minion, and me and you and Frog and Lucca and Robo are the Five Griffins!"
She grinned daringly, pointing her thumbs inward, "Or think of me as Nadianna, and you can be the Blue Bard, Crono! And you can send Magus to his grave with your terrible voice!" Crono glared at her, a silly grin on his face.
"Oh, thanks a lot!"
The Princess chuckled, but the sound was empty, cheerless. A long moment of silence, then her small voice, so meek.
"I am frightened, Crono...I don't want this to be...the end....'cause ya know, good DOESN'T always triumph over evil. Oh sure, in the long run. But what if we are just another casualty in the war? What then, Crono?"
The boy hated seeing tears in the brave, headstrong girl's face, hated seeing doubt. He did not want to admit to himself, to her, that there was a possibility of losing.
He bit his lip, and pulled her roughly to him, holding her tight with his strong arms. He lay one cheek on the top of her flaxen head softly, and she gripped onto his tunic, and cried ever so gently.
"Then, Marle...we exit this mortal coil, together...but, if we succeed..."
He pulled back a bit, lifting the pointed chin of hers up, looking in her eyes.
"We will be making a legend."
"Never think that, when I get up in the morning..." she answered, her voice cracked.
Crono smiled at her attempted joke, but, it was truly all too serious...
The picture of Marle and Crono conversing in the dark inspired me to do this one. Romance in CT between Crono and Marle is a bit too vague. So, I like to fill in the blanks... ^,^