well, at least it was a good bath, no?
"Magus, art thou in there?" Glenn knocked on the door.
Well, almost nothing. Annoyed already, Magus sat up and barked, "Come in, Glenn. What do you want now?"
Glenn stepped into the room, a sigh escaping his lips as he did so. He hadn't expected a warm welcome, but at least the mage could act a little thankful for what all the knight had done for him. He shouldn't have expected it, he supposed. In all his travels with Magus, he'd learned that the elder man always spoke his mind, no matter what the situation was. Sometimes it was a good thing and sometimes not. Just once, though, it would have been nice to hear something from him that wasn't bitter or angry. His mind swept back to thirty minutes earlier, when he'd had the warlock's beaten skin beneath his fingers. Magus had leaned into the touch, and it confused him beyond all he understood, because he'd liked the fact that Magus enjoyed it. He hadn't wanted to stop as soon as he did, but he was afraid Magus was on the verge of collapse. It was for the better, anyway. Glenn wasn't used to staring at a man's backside and considering it a thing of beauty, and the fact that he'd looked at his enemy turned ally hadn't made it any less confusing. What was the matter with him? Was he actually that concerned over the mage?
"Well, what is it, already?" Magus asked impatiently, slipping a little further under the water. He didn't like the way the knight was looking at him. It made him uncomfortable, to say the least.
Glenn shook his head and looked away for a second, his eyes shifting about the room. He couldn't believe that he'd been staring so openly at the man. It was embarrassing, but he forced himself not to blush and looked ahead again. "I hath found thee some clothing, if thou wouldst like it."
Magus nodded. "Bring it in here, and then find your way out the door."
Glenn frowned at him for all the good it did and complied to the mage's request. Magus watched him leave then peered over the rim of the tub at the clothes Glenn had brought for him. There was a black shirt with a v-neck that had gold embroidery around the collar, a pair of black pants, and a matching cloak. He reached out with one hand to touch the cloth. The outside was rough, hard, almost like leather, but the inside was silken and would feel good against his skin. The pants felt like cotton on the outside. The inside, though, matched the shirt, and the same was true with the cloak. It was all very fine material, and Magus wondered where Glenn had managed to find it so quickly. He would have to remember to ask when he got out.
Magus didn't leave the tub until the water started to turn cold. His thoughts flew to Schala and where he could continue his search for her. He'd searched his own time for two years, and then had flown from one time to another, searching for his sister and finding only Lavos spawn. He had tried going back in time, going back to the point where Schala had transported them away from the Ocean Palace, but he found that he could not return to a place he already existed in. It wasn't that it wasn't possible, not by far because he'd done it once already, but he wasn't strong enough to manage it on his own, nor did he have the perfect control he would need to pinpoint that exact time. He didn't want to admit it, but he needed help. Having someone else's energy to draw off of would be a great asset, and having another hand in battle would be even better. The problem was who to ask. Of course there was Glenn, now that he'd accidentally slipped into their time, but the knight, like the children, had given up time travel when Lavos was defeated. Still, it couldn't hurt to ask, right?
The possibility that Glenn would say no instead was far greater, so Magus knew he had to do something to even the odds. He was sure that the children wouldn't help him anymore. They had their own lives to deal with, but Glenn was a fine warrior, far superior to Crono, and then there was also Ayla. She'd been the only one on the journey who'd actually liked him. She was always worried over "blue-hair" and her comments to eat the frog were hilarious. Could he actually form his own party to help him find his sister? The idea was absurd, but still...all had seemed hopeless in the final hours against Lavos, but as a team they'd strived through it. It would certainly be easier to sleep at night if there was someone there to watch his back, someone he knew he could trust vaguely, at the least.
He sighed as he stood out of the tub and toweled off. Glenn would refuse him, and he knew it, but he had to try. He could be sneaky about it. He could reveal himself to Guardia and force Leene to banish Glenn along with himself, but it wouldn't earn the knight's respect, and he needed that more than anything else if this was going to work. So it looked like an honest approach was the only way to go about it.
"Oh how the mighty hath fallen," he mumbled to himself as he slipped into the black clothes waiting for him. It felt wonderful against his skin, and it warmed his body from the cold. The outfit was made to allow a breeze to pass through, ideal for warm weather travel, but the cloak was heavy and thick, designed to cover the body and keep cold weather out. He put on the boots Glenn had also left for him and walked out into the hallway. He didn't have to look far for the knight. He was standing right beside the door.
"Thou didst enjoy thy bath, I take it," Glenn said as he straightened up from the wall he'd been leaning against.
Magus frowned. "How long have you been there?"
The knight shrugged. "Long enough. I'll escort thee to thy room, and in the morning thou shalt have breakfast with His and Her Majesty, and perhaps further explain thy travels to us all."
He sighed. Better now than never. "Glenn, I have a favor to ask of you."
The man's green eyebrows raised both at the statement and the politeness of it. The wizard was just full of surprises so far. "And what could that possibly be, Magus?"
He steeled his nerve. It was hard for Magus to ask for help. He'd been alone for most of his life, even amongst the Mistics. He had to appear strong, at all times, or they'd have torn him down, broken him, and it was a hard habit to break. Nevertheless... "I would like you to accompany me on my quest. I mean to find Ayla and ask her as well, but it would be a...a... a pleasure to have your sword at my side."
Glenn just stared at him, his mouth slightly agape. He knew how proud Magus was, and how hard it was for him to reach out to anyone, much less the knight who swore revenge. The fact that he hadn't demanded help nearly floored him. He stammered a second before he said, "Thou must understand, Magus, this is a hard concept for me to grasp."
The warlock nodded and waited. Glenn pondered what he should do. He would have to ask leave of Queen Leene in order to leave, but... would it be worth it to travel again? Sure, Magus would be his company, but still... Glenn ached for a good battle, his blood boiled for it. He was a warrior through and through. Seeing Guardia at peace had been a dream he'd welcomed as it came true, but the after effects were less than satisfying. He was never better than on a battlefield, the Masamune in hand, ready to risk it all for the sake of justice. It was what he lived for. Then, there was the account of Schala. He still owed her his life. She'd saved him and his friends from certain doom by sacrificing herself, and it was only fair that he tried to do the same for her. It was the only noble option.
He looked Magus in the eyes as he said, "I will ask my queen for leave at breakfast, but we shall go nowhere until thou hast rested, dost thou understand?"
The surprise that rang across Magus's face was well worth the answer. Magus nodded again. "It's a deal then. I'll rest for another day, then we leave to find Ayla."
Queen Leene had been trained in the finest etiquette of the land. She'd spent years under guidance to make sure her legs were always crossed at the ankle when she sat, that she smoothed her skirt before she sat down, and that she extended her hand palm and fingers down as daintily as possible. This training was the only reason she didn't spit her tea across the table.
King Guardia, however, had no qualm about being rude if the matter called for it, and for all he was concerned, he was well within his rights. "By what means do you come to our castle, despite your previous actions take advantage of our hospitality, and then ask to take our most honored knight with you on some hopeless crusade?"
Glenn gulped slightly. The conversation had definitely taken a turn for the worse. He'd asked Queen Leene for indefinite leave after Magus's story, and when she asked him why he'd given her the truth. That lead them to this current, uncomfortable position. Magus had been far more compliant that he'd expected, but once the king had called his quest for his sister hopeless, Glenn knew it was going to turn violent. Magus's long, pointed ears folded back to his head, and his eyes burned crimson fire. The knight had to interrupt before something bad happened.
"Your Majesty," he said quickly, "forgive me for being brisk, but the Lady Schala, Magus's sister, is perhaps the only reason any of us live and breathe. She saved us from the grips of Lavos himself. I would be dead without her help, to speak nothing of Her Highness, Princess Nadia. It is only noble to extend the same courtesy to her, I feel."
Queen Leene looked up, her eyes careful and calculating. "Are you telling us that Schala is the unsung hero of this story."
Glenn bowed in his nod. "In a manner of speaking, yes my queen."
She looked to her husband. "Then it is settled. Glenn must go to find her. We promised to honor all of the warriors who fought against Lavos, and this young woman gave her life for the cause. We cannot abandon her now."
The king sighed. "And what if something were to happen while he was gone, Leene. It would be rough to have a war without my best knight there."
She shook her head. "Guardia is at peace, my love. There is no fear of war. This quest is of importance. Let him go. He will return, will you not dear Glenn?"
Glenn nodded and Magus visibly relaxed. The queen smiled and said, "And I shall accompany them."
Everyone's eyes grew wide, but Glenn was the first to speak. "My queen, thou canst naught be serious. There is far too much danger in this for thee."
She glared at him, soft but stern. "Do not tell me what I will and will not do, Glenn. I am your queen. I will go with you, and help Sir Magus find his sister. You will find my knowledge of history most helpful, I think, and perhaps if we visit your friend Speikko at the end of time, he will find that I too have powers inside me to be awakened."
Magus stood. "Very well. We'll retrieve Ayla and go see Speikko. But might I suggest, Your Majesty, that if it turns out that you are magically inept, you will return home."
She nodded. "So be it."